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Waterwall Unveiling New Artwork, Improvements

Pierce Transit’s Waterwall Unveiling New Artwork, Improvements


October 4, 2021



Rebecca Japhet, Pierce Transit, rjaphet@piercetransit.org, (253) 984-8213 
Tammi Bryant, City of Tacoma, tbryant@tacomavenues.org,  (253) 257-5540 


Pierce Transit’s Waterwall Unveiling New Artwork, Improvements


Pierce Transit, in partnership with the City of Tacoma, is excited to announce the completion of Mini-Tahoma, an immersive installation by local Tacoma artist RYAN! Feddersen (Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation). The artwork includes a large-scale mural on the face of Pierce Transit’s Waterwall facility, located between South 9th and South 11th Streets, and Commerce and Broadway in the heart of downtown Tacoma. Mural painting took place in June, and the project has just been completed and is now open to the public. Learn more about this project in a short video.

The Waterwall is a recently decommissioned fountain and active pedestrian ramp built onto the face of Pierce Transit’s main bus turnaround facility in downtown Tacoma. The plaza above the Waterwall, Theater Square, is a public space that is used for special events throughout the year, including the busy Thursday Farmer’s Market. In May, Pierce Transit signed a five-year agreement with Tacoma Arts Live to manage Theater Square, including marketing the space for broad community use and contracted events, opening the door to more opportunities for more public events and activity in the heart of downtown Tacoma.

In addition to performing major upgrades to the Commerce Street turnaround facility building over the past year, Pierce Transit is taking steps, such as this art installation on the Waterwall, to reinvigorate the area. This work is informed by Transform, a planning project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts that worked with local partners, residents, workers, businesses, and transit users to explore how to improve the design, function, and programming of public spaces and streets in the Theater District.

“During the pandemic, Pierce Transit has been working to make the Waterwall a safer, more beautiful space – for transit riders, bus drivers and our local community,” said Tacoma Mayor and Pierce Transit Board Member Victoria Woodards. “I can’t think of a better way to welcome people back to downtown Tacoma and local transit. Come ride the bus and experience this new artwork in person!”

Mini-Tahoma reclaims a massive space - 2 stories tall and 175 feet long – and symbolically connects the Waterwall to the glacier Tahoma, whose waters are the basis of our regional abundance. With a playful nod to set design, the installation reclaims the site for nature in vivid and imaginative ways. This project is being managed by the City of Tacoma’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality and funded by Pierce Transit. To watch the installation in progress and learn more about it, visit PierceTransit.org/Waterwall.


About RYAN! Feddersen:
RYAN! Elizabeth Feddersen specializes in creating interactive murals, site-specific installations, and immersive public artworks that invite audience engagement. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Cornish College of the Arts in 2009, then remained in Seattle, working as an artist, curator, studio assistant, and arts administrator, until recently relocating to Tacoma, Washington. Feddersen grew up in Wenatchee, Washington as a part of a creative family with multiple cultural perspectives. She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, from the Okanogan and Arrow Lakes bands, and of mixed European decent.

About Pierce Transit:
Founded in 1979, Pierce Transit is a nationally recognized leader in the public transportation industry. Pierce Transit covers 292 square miles of Pierce County with roughly 70% of the county population. Serving Washington’s second largest county, Pierce Transit provides three types of service, Fixed Route, SHUTTLE paratransit and Vanpools that help get passengers to jobs, schools and appointments.

About the City of Tacoma’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality:
The Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality and the Tacoma Arts Commission play a vital role in supporting Tacoma's arts and cultural programs. They encourage the development of the local arts community through the administration of arts and cultural funding programs, managing the City's public art collection, and producing a variety of public programs that enhance and contribute to Tacoma's local economy.