Lakewood Public Art

Public art unites. It beautifies. It tells stories and builds common ground. We believe that art is of great value to the community, and we invest in art throughout the community.

From simple signal box wraps to large-scale sculptures and murals, public art takes many shapes and sizes. All of our diverse pieces share one purpose: to make you proud to live in Lakewood. The Lakewood Arts Commission makes recommendations to City Council about the installation of art.

Art Receptions

Lakewood honors local artists by hosting artist receptions at City Hall. For each event, artists hang their artwork at City Hall for a limited time. Then, we host the public on a special reception night to meet the artists, enjoy light snacks, and admire the art. Join us at the next event!

Upcoming Receptions

Meet artist Jose Orantes and hear about his paintings.

  • When: Monday, March 6, 2023
  • Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Where: Lakewood City Hall, 6000 Main Street SW
Past Art Receptions

The 7 @ City Hall

Artists from our local Latino community displayed works that highlight a connection to their heritage and culture. At the reception, the artists shared the stories behind their work and talked with guests. Light refreshments were served, and the public had an opportunity to meet the artists.

A picture of local artist Jose Orantes explaining the meaning behind his artwork to onlookers.
Artist Jose Orantes explains the meaning of his work to curious admirers.
A member of the Lakewood Youth Council admires a painting by Rene Julio.
A member of the Lakewood Youth Council takes in a painting by Rene Julio.
A picture of Mayor Jason Whalen admiring the work of artist River Menschi.
Mayor Jason Whalen admires the work of River Menschi.
A picture of artist Juan La Torre examining artwork by his peers.
Artist Juan La Torre takes time to examine his peers’ artwork.

New Art Projects

Colonial Plaza Gateway Arch

Colonial Plaza was renovated in 2019 to become a community centerpiece. On top of the cobbled street and classic architecture, sits a welcoming metallic gateway arch.

Metal strands etched with phrases from residents and community groups are entwined within the piece.

The sweeping steel arcs sit on the Gravelly Lake Drive entrance to Motor Avenue, inviting visitors to one of Lakewood’s community gathering places. Made from inch-thick curved steel plates, the pieces form a gateway. The larger stretches 50 feet wide and the smaller 34 feet. Both rise about 4 feet from the ground.

Aluminum “story strips” are found within the arc, each etched with quotes and memories gathered from the community. In Spring 2022, the city gathered phrases, quotes, and stories about life in Lakewood to include in the piece.

When walking Motor Avenue, people can read these stories and memories up close. From the street, the aluminum strips reflect a luminous glow through triangular cutouts.

The artwork was installed Jan. 25, 2023. A public “unveiling” is planned for the spring. More details will be announced soon.

A worker in a hard hat and orange vest leans into a large metal piece of public art at Motor Avenue in Lakewood, WA where the piece is being installed.
A triangular piece of metal public art is lowered from a trailer bed by a large crane to the ground in Lakewood, WA.
A close up shot of the metal art installation going in at Motor Avenue in Lakewood, WA.
Artist John Fleming works on Gateway Arc metal public art piece as it is installed on Motor Avenue in Lakewood, Wa.
Metallic “Gateway Arcs” will welcome from afar and amaze from up close with a collection of community voices.
Signal Box Wraps

Large utility boxes are located next to traffic lights at many Lakewood intersections. While you’re stuck at a red light, why not enjoy a more pleasant view?

The City is sprucing up a series of boxes, fitting them with unique wraps made by local artists.

“LIVE LIKE THE MOUNTAIN IS OUT” proclaims a beautiful mural at American Lake Park
Leap of Faith by Katie Dean, found at 84th & South Tacoma Way
Tribal Quilt by Rosa Cruz, found at San Francisco & Bridgeport
Designed and produced by artist Karsten Boysen, the Lotus Blossom was commissioned by the Lakewood City Council and the Lakewood Arts Commission in 2017.