Local artist Diane Hansen is bringing home a beloved tradition made famous in Paris thanks to her new public art installation titled "The Locks.” The concept is inspired by her travels through Paris and the magical Pont des Arts bridge near the Louvre, where couples write their names on a padlock, secure it to the bridge and throw the key into the Seine River in a showing of love and loyalty to each other. The tradition has since spread throughout the world and finally made its way from the City of Light to the City of Destiny.
“The Locks” is located on the ‘A’ Street Passageway, a pedestrian walkway between South 25th and South 26th. Hansen invites the community to get involved in the project by securing their own padlocks to the project’s two large-scale columns. The padlock can represent a bond of love, a special wish or a variety of other intentions. Legend has it that when passenger trains travel near the padlocks, it creates a magnetic field that energizes the locks, turning the wishes into realities. “I wanted this project to really resonate with people’s childlike wonder,” Hansen said. “I want to take them back to that time when you’re little and believe in magic and hope and love.”
During a Nov. 21 dedication celebration, Hansen will supply padlocks and embellishments to allow people to design their own unique locks. “This will be a great, feel-good experience for everybody,” Hansen said. “This project creates a really strong community experience where we can all bond with Tacoma and with each other in a meaningful and lasting way.”
The success of the project itself relies on the participation of the people, she adds. “This piece is all about the community, and the more locks we have, the more powerful it will be,” she said.
The dedication celebration takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 21.
Padlocks are limited, and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, search “Lock-On Tacoma” on Facebook.
Other highlights coming up during Art at Work Month include:
The BareFoot Collective – the group will be performing a contemporary dance program called “Autumn Dances” throughout November. What is unique about the program is that, instead of performing in a theater, they are taking dance out into the community and doing it for free. They will be performing at the Tacoma Public Library’s main branch, located at 1102 Tacoma Ave. on Nov. 16; The Mix (635 St. Helens Ave.) on Nov. 19; and N. Dybevik Piano Co. (located near 13th and MLK Way) on Nov. 21. All events are free, but donations are appreciated.
Mt. Tahoma Storytelling Guild – The group is celebrating “Tellabration!” a night of storytelling celebrated worldwide. The program will feature an eclectic concert of stories that will appeal to storytelling fans ages 10 years and older. The event takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Antique Sandwich Company, located at 5102 N. Pearl St. Admission is $5.
Puget Sound Book Artists – The group is holding a Members' Exhibit and Orientation to PSBA on Nov. 16 at University of Puget Sound’s Collins Memorial Library. Meet with members of the Puget Sound Book Artists organization and learn about activities and workshops. Visitors can also browse through the "mini" exhibit of unique artists' books and enjoy a short paper-folding activity. A Jennifer Kennard exhibit will also on be display in Collins Library. A book arts lecture will follow the event, which takes place from 12:30-2 p.m. Admission is free.
Working Class Theatre NW (a Spaceworks Tacoma project): Working Class Theatre NW will be holding a series of show readings at the Old Post Office on Nov. 15, 16, 22, and 23. The events will feature readings from the theater’s upcoming season including “Zoo Story,” “ENRON,” “Life in the Theatre,” “Sunset Limited,” “School for Lies,” and “Tracers.” Each evening features a reading of a different play. The Old Post Office is located at 1102 ‘A’ St. All events take place at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.