Kenmore art project aims to soften 'cement city' image

Eric Wilkinson reports.

The city of Kenmore lives in the shadow of Seattle. About 10 miles to the north, Kenmore is a commuter town along busy Highway 522 that connects Seattle with I-405 and the East Side.

Kenmore's skyline consists of a concrete plant. It's "Space Needle" is the plant's three 80-foot tall silos that loom over Hwy. 522.  

"Let's face it, this is ugly," said Kenmore resident Kent Sturgis. "Whether we like it or not, this is the icon of Kenmore."

Sturgis is among those in town who believe Kenmore could pretty itself up a bit.  A group calling itself "Let's Beautify This" is hoping to get someone to design artwork to wrap around each of those steel silos. The goal is to make the landmark less industrial and more inviting.

"The more you can do to make a place more interesting and fun and livable, the better the relationship will be between the people and the city," said Sturgis.

Staci Adman helped create a massive 2,100 square-foot mural on the side of Kenmore's Saint Vincent de Paul building earlier this year. It served as the inspiration for the silo project.

Adman would like to see the silos cement Kenmore as a place that's more than just the home of the concrete plant.

"It's the human creative spirit among all the industrial stuff," she said. "And if it makes someone smile, that's awesome."

The concrete company, Cal-Portland, has given permission for the project. Organizers are putting out a "call to artists" interested in taking part. The theme is "land, lake and air." Organizers are also trying to raise about $16,000 to pay for it all. More information is available on the group's GoFundMe page

If all goes as planned, the silo project will be complete by next summer. Organizers are hoping to add more projects in the future. 

Video: Resident: 'Let's face it - this is ugly'

Copyright 2016 KING


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