Located at the trailhead of the Raccoon River Valley Trail in Waukee, Iowa, the Waukee Railroad Pergola: In The Shadow of the Rails is a dynamic integration of public art and infrastructure based on the history of the railroad and creates a unique experience for visitors and a destination for bicyclists andpedestrians.
This dramatic sculptural icon has become a regional landmark and serves as a colorful and whimsical connection between the past, present, and future of the community. Framed by a series of handmade ceramic-clad columns, more than 350 feet long, a trellis of railroad rails casts shadows that weave along thetrail.
Lighting for this public art installation creates a dynamic appeal to bikers that attracts them to this section of the trail system in CentralIowa.
Public art is about process. Through a combination of site-specific research, documentation, careful listening, and artistic insight, a meaningful story emerged.
The Raccoon River Valley Trail Association, in conjunction with the City of Waukee, was profoundly committed to the “story,” the integration of the public artwork, and the implementation of the project. Over a three-year period, the project became a reality due in large part to the relationships between artists and the community and the grass-roots marketing and fundraising efforts of keyindividuals.