Early next year, Salt Lake City will welcome a new TRAX station—the first to be built in nearly a decade—near the intersection 600 South Main Street. With this exciting new TRAX station, a new captivating public artwork will be unveiled. Jiyoun Lee-Lodge’s (she/her/hers) The Crossing was recommended by the Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Art Design Board for commission and approved by Mayor Erin Mendenhall. This station’s construction is the product of a public-private partnership that includes local developers, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), and the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) of Salt Lake City and will serve a rapidly growing part of the city.
The Crossing consists of two eight-foot by twelve-foot steel sculptures intersecting at an angle. These two pieces are separated by a portal – a breach that invites station users to walk around and in-between each of the sculptures. The Korean-born, Salt Lake City, Utah based artist created a design that evokes the fluidity of water, which serves as a touching reference to the transient nature of the TRAX station, public transportation users, and the neighborhood in which its located.
According to the artist, “The Crossing illustrates water spreading out so people can pass through.” The open door in the artist’s design symbolizes the ever-changing nature of our City – a hub that is constantly changing and evolving. Further, Lee-Lodge writes, “The sculpture invites viewers to notice the emergent, water-like qualities of many aspects of Salt Lake City and Utah: it asks the viewer to consider the ways that people, as individuals and as communities, move like water in this place, with swells that carry new futures and possibilities.” Throughout the steel panels, Lee integrates colorful, egg-shaped floating orbs indicating new, exciting, and unknown possibilities. The Crossing is designed to complement and augment the experience of those engaged in this space, in addition to invigorating this rapidly changing mid-town neighborhood with public art.
The Crossing joins an invigorating collection of existing artworks located in UTA transit stations throughout Salt Lake City. For this project, the Art Design Board solicited applications from the Public Art 2020-2022 Pre-Qualified Artist Pool and reviewed proposals designed by three finalists. Lee-Lodge’s proposal, The Crossing, was recommended for commission in early 2021. The artwork will be fabricated this fall and will be installed in the winter of 2022 when the TRAX station is scheduled to be open to the public. The Crossing constitutes Lee-Lodge’s first artwork to enter the Salt Lake City Public Art Collection.