Portland’s MAX light rail stations are full of examples of site-specific works that relate to their surrounding places, people, and history, including Valerie Otani’s Voices of Remembrance, a work of public art commissioned by TriMet that references the Japanese internment camp that was built during WWII at the site that is now the MAX Yellow Line Expo Center station. The work of art includes traditional torii gates, internee ID tags, vintage news articles, community maps, and space for community gathering and reflection. Rather than simply beautifying the station, the art also addresses a difficult topic and publicly acknowledges this dark chapter of the city’s and country’s history. More than a decade after its completion, the station continues to serve as a destination for community tours and the focus of community healing.
Key partners: TriMet, Valerie Otani