Local artist Jose Orantes describes his work at an artist reception event.

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

Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, 5-7 p.m.: Meet local artist Juan La Torre and learn about his pieces that line the halls of the first floor in Lakewood City Hall.

Artist Bio: Juan La Torre has created art since he was a young boy living in Guadalupe, in the department of La Libertad Peru. His talents were first recognized when he was 10. He won a drawing contest during one of the city’s festivities. Years later he received another award for his outstanding artistic achievements from the city. He studied in Lima, Peru at the Instituto Superior Tecnologico CESCA taking classes for technical drawing. He also studied at Instituto Cultural Peruano Norteamericano where he took English language classes. Before moving to the United States, he served as Council Member of Education, Cultural Affairs, Health, and Tourism. He draws inspiration from the people of his country, their customs and culture, and uses influences of their colors, patterns, textiles, faces, architecture, and artifacts in his work.

Learn more.

Past Art Receptions

Mauricio Robalino, River Meschi, and Laura Martinez

On April 17 we hosted Mauricio Robalino, River Meschi and Laura Martinez. There was live music, refreshments, and a live art demonstration by River Meschi.

Artist River Meschi does a live sand art demonstration
Artist River Meschi gives a live sand art demonstration
A person admires artwork by Mauricio Robalino
A person admires artwork by Mauricio Robalino
A saxophonist plays for people at the Lakewood art reception.
This art reception a live saxophonist
Artist Laura Martinez explains her artwork to onlookers.
Artist Laura Martinez explains her artwork to onlookers

Jose Orantes

On Monday, March 6 artist Jose Orantes displayed his work and explained his process to the public. The city hall lobby was filled with his paintings and light refreshments were served.

Artist Jose Orantes explains his art to curious onlookers.
Artist Jose Orantes explains his art to curious onlookers.
Reception attendees admiring Jose Orantes' paintings.
Reception attendees admiring Jose Orantes’ paintings.

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.

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.

Signal Box Wraps

Public 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 arc.

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 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.

The Lotus Blossom

Designed and produced by artist Karsten Boysen, the Lotus Blossom was commissioned by the Lakewood City Council and the Lakewood Arts Commission in 2017.

The Lotus Blossom statue installed in Lakewood, Washington.

“LIVE LIKE THE MOUNTAIN IS OUT” proclaims a beautiful mural at American Lake Park
Designed and produced by artist Karsten Boysen, the Lotus Blossom was commissioned by the Lakewood City Council and the Lakewood Arts Commission in 2017.