Art has come to the Lake to Sound Trail!

Have you noticed anything new on the Lake to Sound (L2S) Trail recently? Once complete, the L2S will be a 16-mile non-motorized, multi-use recreational trail spanning from the south end of Lake Washington in Renton, all the way to the shoreline of Puget Sound in Des Moines. The L2S is one of the first trails to make connections between our larger network of our Regional Trails System, and will connect five cities in south King County, as well as four other major regional trails.

Thanks to a partnership with 4Culture, artists Jenny Heishman and Kurt Kiefer, metal fabrication by the King County Park’s North Utility Trail Crew, and carpentry by Robert Oakes from our Parks team, L2S now boasts some new artwork!

When coming up with the concept for this project, the artists began their initial design thinking at the two ends of the trail. Both waterfronts host the natural objects of Washington shorelines – most prominently logs and rocks. They imagined the trail as a waterway that connected Lake Washington to the Puget Sound, with its flow of people walking, biking, and running. They envisioned the sculptures as the “banks” of the trail. For that reason, the sculptures incorporate the clusters of rocks and logs that gather at outer edges of river bends.

The look and feel are intentionally reminiscent of the remarkable hand-built timber, steel and stone structures of the Great Depression-era Works Progress Administration Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The artists are inspired by the elegant ways in which CCC craftsmen and craftswomen manipulated oversize timbers and rocks to make the signs and buildings that form the brand of our national and state parks. These utilitarian sculptures speak to us with their spirit of make-do efficiency, reverence for local materials, immediacy of design, and timelessness.

Jenny Heishman and Kurt Kiefer are both firmly rooted transplants to the Northwest. As a team, they bring many years of experience creating and developing publicly sited art projects and value working with communities. Jenny and Kurt have previously worked together on three separate projects.

Jenny’s work is known for playful gestures in which recognizable forms and materials are transformed into objects that reward the viewer with unexpected discoveries. Her work has been recognized with grants from Artist Trust (2005), 4Culture (2006), Artist Trust and Washington State Arts Commission (2006), PONCHO (2009), and in 2011 she was awarded the northwest regional Betty Bowen Award and a grant from the Pollock Krasner Foundation.

Kurt Kiefer is a sculptor who dreams of one day having the perfect quiet woodshop with a quiver of well-sharpened hand tools. By day he manages the development of other artists’ work.

We hope you have a chance to get out and enjoy the L2S, as well as the new sculptures that dot its borders! For updates on the L2S Trail project, sign up for our dedicated email newsletter.

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