Part of Sound Transit Start permanent art collection, this interactive sculpture invites public participation by encouraging visitors to attach memento padlocks on metal mesh-wrapped concrete columns.
The installation is located near a Sound Transit stop, where most pedestrians are focused solely on reaching their destination. “Lock-On Tacoma” turns up the visual volume, inviting passersby to pause in their busy days, examine the locks left there by others, and add their own love locks, thus expanding the piece in the most personal of ways.
Enlarged steel padlock and skeleton key sculptures, painted in auto enamel, encircle the top portion of the rail support. Hansen worked with youth from Hilltop Artists to cast glass ornaments she incorporated into the locks. Hansen wrapped the columns in metal mesh to create a screen where visitors can attach their own love locks. The project required full ADA accessibility. Diane chose to seek inclusion of all audiences by not only making it accessible, but by creating a piece that inspired conversation for all types of visitors.
Detail of heart lock and 253 key. Cast Aluminum faceplates, steel frames, glass rivets, metal-flake auto enamel. Fabrication: Jennifer Weddermann. Paint: Ray Kirkoff.
Diane’s inspiration for this work came from two places: the Paris ‘Love Locks’ movement and the natural affinity Tacomans have for their city. The goal was to create an art installation as a destination—one that begs city dwellers and visitors to seek out the location and interact with it. “I wanted to create more than a sculpture,” explains Diane. “I wanted to create an experience that caused people to get off the train and explore the Dome District and Tacoma.
“Allure”was inspired by many conversations with the vibrant community of South Park, who describe their neighborhood as a “small town within a big city.”
The sculpture is a beacon for the area of South Park, inviting visitors to come and enjoy the business district’s offerings. “Allure”welcomes everyone to the diversity of South Park, one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods. This artwork was commissioned by King County in partnership with the Seattle Office of Economic Development and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture King County, Dow Constantine, Executive.
The depiction of the angler fish embodies the community’s scrappy spirit, in its references to a variety of cultures and layers of history: from the farming culture that started this neighborhood and is now embodied in Marra Farms, to the current industries that continue to employ many of the population here, to those who still fish in the river.
“Allure” is fabricated from ornamental iron and sheet metal laser cut with integrated motifs including many designed by South Park community members, symbolic of the rich history and cultural diversity of the area. The open iron filigree is covered with a brilliant metallic gold glaze. In this photo, Diane leads install crew on the siting of the artwork.
“Allure’s” functional lantern was fabricated from reclaimed lighting from the old South Park Bridge. “Allure” stands as an invitation to South Park, beckoning visitors to come and enjoy the business district's offerings. The lantern is illuminated with an integrated commercial solar floodlight, which creates a friendly and safe environment per Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) guidelines.
Sea Branches and Pearls
Bay Terrace is a community housing development located in Tacoma, WA. The Tacoma Housing Authority commissioned Diane Hansen along with fellow artist Jennifer Weddermann to create an exterior art piece entitled "Sea Branches and Pearls."
The inspiration for this project comes from the nearby ocean shoreline. Rusted metal forms, reminiscent of undulating kelp, flow around the cement foundation to create movement and visual interest. Vibrant red sections embedded with cast glass pearls beckon community members to explore the organic sculpture. As future vegetation develops, climbing English Ivy will intertwine within the piece, marrying the undersea with the world above.
Photo credit: Terry Rishel
Circling through the air like a whirly-gig, “Gyrocarpus Americanus” (commonly known as the Helicopter Tree) seed pods whimsically embellish Mercy Housing Northwest. Rusted steel and hand blown glass pods move across the surface of the building as if blown by seasonal winds.
Mercy Housing Northwest is situated in the area known as New Tacoma. It is an anchoring community building, bringing residents and vibrancy to downtown Tacoma. Like seeds blown in from the wind, taking root on the hillside, Mercy Housing and New Tacoma have revitalize this key area.
While walking the site of the Mercy Housing Northwest project with Alisa Luber, Senior Project Developer, meeting residents and staff, and taking in the surrounding location, current art and plantings, the concept of growth really struck Diane and her art design partner Jennifer Weddermann.
The artwork is comprised of a total of 6 seed pods, each fabricated out of glass and rusted steel. There are two different seed pod designs. One is made with hand-blown glass seeds with bases wrapped in 24K gold leaf and nestled in chartreuse green painted forged steel organic shapes. The other is formed from fused and slumped glass pod skins held in place by ornate rusted steel leaves. Pod dimensions are 9' H x (up to) 36" wide x 16" deep
This Apatosaurus public art sculpture was commissioned by Swansons Nursery, the oldest nursery in Seattle, WA. “Humphrey” is a visual anchor for the store. Diane designed him to have a curious look as he peers around his surroundings, attracting visitors to interact with him.
photo credit Aimee Damman, Swansons Nursery
The sculpture is made of cold-rolled steel and lined with chicken wire. It took a team of over 10 individuals to bring the dinosaur to life. In designing and constructing Humphrey, Diane paid careful attention to his musculoskeletal composition as the moss was overlaid on his spine and body.
Once metal fabrication began, Humphrey’s construction process took 4 weeks. He enjoyed all of the attention he received on his journey down I-5 to Swansons nursery.
Humphery is covered in over 67,858.39 linear inches of moss. The Apatosaurus sculpture weighs approximately 1500 lbs and is 10' H x 8' W x L 21' L from nose to tail.
photo credit Aimee Damman, Swansons Nursery
The structure is filled with over two hundred hand-blown glass floats, created by Diane Hansen and Lesli Jacobs-McHugh. “I love the symbolism that comes with glass floats,” says Diane. “Even though they are made of a seemingly fragile material, they often survive the toughest of journeys, crossing entire oceans without breaking.”
View from ceiling.
This temporary public art piece was designed to bring attention to the Prairie Line Trail project on the University of Washington Tacoma campus. The installation featured a mesh construction banner spanning a sky bridge. An image of Abraham Lincoln shows the president’s eyes looking down at the trail.
Day and evening photos of art placement on the exterior walkway of UW campus Tacoma, WA, intersecting the Prairie Line Trail. Project was completed during PA:ID program and was conceived by team members Diane Hansen, Ed Kroupa, and Jeremy Gregory. Photo includes a temporary art installation by ThoughtBarn Design Team (Lucy Begg and Robert Gay).
“Lincoln originally signed the charter to connect the east and west coast via railroad,” explains Diane. “The Prairie Line Trail takes that original charter and re-envisions it, turning an abandoned rail bed that was part of the transcontinental route and turning it into a walking trail.” Without showing judgment, the piece positions Lincoln as looking down at the contemporary outcome of his legacy. It leaves it up to the viewer to imagine what the president may have thought.
The concept behind this piece demanded a strict level of commitment. The work is based specifically on a 1947 product and is exquisitely detailed, even including the LSMFT mark on the bottom of the pack (“Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco).
This piece highlights Hansen’s ability to use a simple object to create a nuanced, layered conversation. The sculpture creates a permanent piece from an ephemeral object and touches a wide variety of triggers for the viewer, depending on how they may have interacted with the subject in their own lives. “It pays homage to what we like to think of as an innocent time,” explains Diane, “but on closer examination, the times may have not been so innocent.”
The pack is constructed of steel painted with auto enamel. The cigarettes are hand-blown glass. But even with the more rigid concept, Diane found the experience to be revelatory. “Like most pieces, this one developed while I was making it. It kind of revealed itself. I start with a concept, but each piece takes on a life of its own and surprises me along the way.“