Student art coming to Kenmore streets

Cami Brix, Co-Editor-in-Chief

UPDATE (10/16): Miriam Ruiz’s artwork, listed fourth in the above slideshow, was selected. Dates for project completion are yet to be determined.

The city of Kenmore opened voting for its first student-created public artwork project earlier this week. Through online voting, the community has the opportunity to decide which one of six student designs will decorate the sides of the newly-modified 84th Ave. N.E. and Simonds Road intersection. The winner will be announced Monday Oct. 16. (Vote for your favorite design here)

In the spring of 2017, the city made safety improvements to the intersection, creating two open, paved areas on either side of the roadway.  Brett Schock, Kenmore’s traffic engineer, said he considered many solutions. However, he ultimately decided a public art project was the most cost-effective and best-served the area.

“It seemed like a good option for a public art project,”  Schock said. “That’s something that’s a trend these days, when you have that area you don’t want people driving in.”

Schock then reached out to Inglemoor art teacher Zane Mills, who agreed to the project. Mills assigned his IB Visual Arts and Computer Graphics classes the task of coming up with geometric designs for the two areas of the road. After weeks of designing, the two classes voted for their favorite three designs in June, which were then submitted to Schock. This past week, the winners were posted on the City of Kenmore website for the community to vote on (voting is now closed). Schock said he expects the winner to be announced this upcoming Monday.

The winning artist will receive a cash prize of the remaining money in the city’s budget after the cost of supplies. However, Mills said the opportunity of displaying one’s work is already a “great honor.”

“They are showcasing student work in a very public and permanent way, which is pretty awesome,” Mills said.

The winner, along with the help of Mills and other student artists, will paint the mural either this fall or next spring, depending on how the weather holds.

Schock said he is very optimistic about the city installing more student art pieces in the future.

“I think this is something that is going to be the first of many,” Schock said. “I know that there is a lot of excitement and interest within the community.”