Conceptual rendering, provided by HaddadlDrugan, for 400 South Viaduct in Salt Lake City, UT
The Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Public Art Program is excited to announce the selection of Haddad|Drugan, a Seattle-based artist-led team studio comprised of Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan, for the 400 South Viaduct Trail project, from the Poplar Grove neighborhood to Downtown. The revisioning of this crucially important corridor, which links Salt Lake City’s West and East sides from 900 to 300 West, will be an artistically driven placemaking project that aims to establish a bold visual identity, while centering the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and people using mobility devices.
Uplift (2023), HaddadlDrugan. Location: Phoenix, AZ
As commissioned artists, Haddad|Drugan will be an integral part of the viaduct’s design team and tasked with co-creating a corridor that rewards and celebrates its users by identifying or designing aesthetic elements that can be integrated into the project’s overall infrastructure. Railroad tracks, in addition to the parallel Interstate 15 (I-15) highway, actively divide the city—physically, racially, economically, and socially—by a West-side and East-side axis. This divide is particularly daunting for people traveling by foot or using other forms of active transportation, especially to those coming from Salt Lake City’s West Side neighborhoods, which are considered among of the most racially and ethnically diverse places in all of Utah. The 400 South Viaduct project aims to improve the bridging of this divide and has been prioritized by the City’s Transportation Division as one of the top projects for implementation from a transportation equity perspective.
Throughout the Viaduct’s design process, Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan’s will prioritize engagement with West Side communities with the goal of informing their artistic approach to the Viaduct’s final design. Beginning with a series of community engagement events in late February, which will continue through 2024, the artists will begin the process of deeply understanding and reflecting on the voices, experiences, and aspirations of community members. Ultimately, these insights will profoundly inform and shape the design of the artwork, ensuring that it authentically resonates with the rich cultural fabric and collective spirit of the West Side communities.
Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan’s Seattle-based art studio focuses on the creation of large-scale, conceptually driven placemaking art that explores qualities of light, color, magic, and wonder. The artists’ collaboration began in 2001 and has fostered a wide range of innovative site-specific public art commissions and art plans that emerge from a process of design team collaboration, community engagement, and research about the site’s community, history, natural environment, and functional requirements. The resulting multi-sensory aesthetic experiences are deeply integrated into the places where they are located and strive to reveal the cultural and environmental conditions that have inspired them. The artists have worked on various transportation projects and are excited about the potential of fusing art into the 400 South Viaduct multi-use trail to create catalysts of curiosity and connection.
Light Passage (2023), HaddadlDrugan. Location: Cary, NC
The selection of Haddad|Drugan for this commission was recommended by the Salt Lake Art Design Board in 2023 and subsequently approved for commission by Mayor Erin Mendenhall. The artists were selected out of 72 artists following a ‘request for qualifications’ process that was open to professional artists and/or artist-led teams residing in the United States. The 400 South Viaduct Trail project will be designed through the end of 2024 and construction is expected to begin in 2025. For more information about Haddad|Drugan, please visit https://haddad-drugan.com/. All images are courtesy of the artists.
We invite you to follow us on Instagram at @slc_publicartprogram for updates on this and the many other different projects we sponsor throughout Utah’s capital city. The Public Art Program is a service of the Salt Lake City Arts Council. You can learn more about what we do at www.saltlakearts.org and www.saltlakepublicart.org.