Photo by Haley Ausbun. Attendees of the Sunset fence dedication on June 9, walk along the 800 feet of art.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Attendees of the Sunset fence dedication on June 9, walk along the 800 feet of art.

“A fence that unites” – City dedicates new Sunset Boulevard art

Tape weaving in a fence on Sunset Boulevard finished over the weekend

The chain-link fence along Northeast Sunset Boulevard has new messages for drivers-by: “Dúc tin” “La familia” “History” “代” “Komunidad” and “добро пожаловать.”

These words and more, written in Spanish, English, Mandarin, Tagalog, Russian and Vietnamese, now brighten the 800 foot stretch of fence, along with colorful woven designs, in an effort by the city and partners to continue to transform the Sunset neighborhood.

“This artwork is unique, eye-catching and welcomes all to the Sunset area,” Mayor Denis Law stated in a press release.

Renton hosted a dedication for the project on Sunday, June 9 at the Sunset Community Church, including a ribbon cutting and time for attendees to walk along the fence and take selfies.

The city of Renton street maintenance staff closed the lane next to the fence to allow those at the dedication to safely walk along and photograph the new art.

Sunset Community Church Pastor Andrew Fouché spoke at the dedication. He said this fence has been an eyesore for the church for a long time, with busted slats and dull gray, and that everybody saw it but nobody wanted to touch it, pointing to the work figuring out whether public or private parties were responsible for the fence.

Hannah Bahnmiller, the AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) community development specialist in the Sunset neighborhood for the past year, started coordinating the project in October.

Bahnmiller said this piece of art was momentous for both it’s size, and the amount of outreach they did working on it.

“The city and its partners have been working in this neighborhood for 20 years, they’ve installed amenities, installed infrastructure improvements and put in housing,” Bahnmiller said. “But I think this project and this fence is an example of the community actually having the opportunity to come together and participate in the revitalization work, and have their voice and ideas seen and represented.”

The project held three listening sessions in February, including one in Spanish and coordinated two drawing sessions in March, where residents and students could draw the symbols that were recreated on several plaques attached to the fence. Many of the students were from McKnight Middle School.

Fouché also spoke about what this fence represents, in light of today’s current culture with racism and divisiveness online, with it’s six different languages.

“Unlike a lot of fences, this fence is a symbol of unity, not of division,” Fouché said. “It’s hopefully a vision forward for what this neighborhood and city represents.”

As the symbols were designed, volunteers worked long hours for a month weaving the colored privacy tape throughout the stretch of fence.

Renton Municipal Arts Commission members Mary Clymer and Marsha Rollinger make up MxM Creative, who led the outreach, design and weaving of the fence. The commission also funded the project.

Clymer said she got a lot of honks and waves while she worked weaving the tape. Meanwhile, Marsha Rollinger was doing the background work on the project.

At the dedication, Clymer spoke about being a part of this project, and the other projects the Renton Arts Commission has been gaining momentum on thanks to council support.

“I believe arts bring a community together, and this is such a representation of that,” Clymer said. “Our arts commission is a real family now and it feels so good.”

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The fence now has woven with colorful privacy tape, plaques containing six languages and over 100 symbols that were created by students and residents in the Sunset neighborhood.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The fence now has woven with colorful privacy tape, plaques containing six languages and over 100 symbols that were created by students and residents in the Sunset neighborhood.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The plaques featured several words important to the project, including “代” or “generations” in Chinese. People of different ages contributed to drawing symbols for this project.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The plaques featured several words important to the project, including “代” or “generations” in Chinese. People of different ages contributed to drawing symbols for this project.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Attendees of the Sunset fence dedication on June 9, walk along the 800 feet of art.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Attendees of the Sunset fence dedication on June 9, walk along the 800 feet of art.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Hannah Bahnmiller, the AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) community development specialist in the Sunset neighborhood for the past year, speaking at the dedication June 9 at Sunset Community Church.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Hannah Bahnmiller, the AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) community development specialist in the Sunset neighborhood for the past year, speaking at the dedication June 9 at Sunset Community Church.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The fence now has woven with colorful privacy tape, plaques containing six languages and over 100 symbols that were created by students and residents in the Sunset neighborhood.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The fence now has woven with colorful privacy tape, plaques containing six languages and over 100 symbols that were created by students and residents in the Sunset neighborhood.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The plaques featured several words important to the project, including “dúc tin,” or “faith” in Vietnamese. The fence runs along the Sunset Community Church.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The plaques featured several words important to the project, including “dúc tin,” or “faith” in Vietnamese. The fence runs along the Sunset Community Church.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Attendees of the Sunset fence dedication on June 9, walk along the 800 feet of art.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Attendees of the Sunset fence dedication on June 9, walk along the 800 feet of art.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. MxM Creative, which is Renton Municipal Arts Commission members Mary Clymer and Marsha Rollinger, talking about working together on the Sunset fence project, at the dedication June 9 at Sunset Community Church.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. MxM Creative, which is Renton Municipal Arts Commission members Mary Clymer and Marsha Rollinger, talking about working together on the Sunset fence project, at the dedication June 9 at Sunset Community Church.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The fence now has woven with colorful privacy tape, plaques containing six languages and over 100 symbols that were created by students and residents in the Sunset neighborhood.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The fence now has woven with colorful privacy tape, plaques containing six languages and over 100 symbols that were created by students and residents in the Sunset neighborhood.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The fence now has woven with colorful privacy tape, plaques containing six languages and over 100 symbols that were created by students and residents in the Sunset neighborhood.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The fence now has woven with colorful privacy tape, plaques containing six languages and over 100 symbols that were created by students and residents in the Sunset neighborhood.

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The plaques featured several words important to the project, including “history.”

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The plaques featured several words important to the project, including “history.”

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