ALLUVION – An artwork for the peninsula at Point Defiance, by artist Adam Kuby
Artist Adam Kuby has been commissioned to create Alluvion, a signature artwork for the new 11-acre park Metro Parks Tacoma is building on the peninsula on the east side of Point Defiance Park.
Before designing the artwork, Kuby researched the history and context of the site, which once housed the Asarco smelter. The most iconic element of the old industrial site was the 562-foot-tall smokestack that dominated the Ruston skyline for decades. For many in the community, its demolition in 1993 symbolized the start of the site's transformation from a polluted industrial place to a healthier, revitalized waterfront.
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Abstracted down to a simple metal pipe form, the old smokestack was the inspiration for Kuby’s artwork. Set in a grassy meadow landscape adjacent to the parking area and along the main entrance pathway, the work will welcome visitors to the Peninsula. Each line of the series is composed of one whole pipe that's broken into smaller and smaller pieces.
Alluvion refers to all the metal that was produced at the Asarco site for items large and small –– for cars, ships, airplanes, factory equipment, and many everyday products that enhanced our lives.
But the composition also touches on the darker side of the smokestack – its dissemination of arsenic and heavy metal toxins across the region. The sculpture's physical transformation along its length – from a tall vertical object to a series of low elements in the landscape – also parallels the transformation of the industrial site into a park.
Park Commissioner Andrea Smith with artist Adam Kuby and the concepts for an artwork installation for the the new park on the peninsula at Point Defiance.