Artist creates messages of hope in Tacoma

VIDEO: Artist create messages of hope in Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. — On this rooftop, Gerardo Pena is getting ready to bare his soul to the city of Tacoma.

“During this lockdown, it just really made me miss people and normalcy, you know,” Pena said.

To communicate how he feels, Pena, who is also known as Periko the Artist, created a big paper-mache megaphone with “Tacoma” in red.

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“It kind of inspired that desperate feeling for human interaction in a way so it was just like a feeling I want to scream on top of a rooftop,” Pena explained.

But instead of his voice, he used these wires and LED lights. As the sun set on the rooftop of First United Methodist church of Tacoma, his message to the city shined brightly for all to see with the words “I (love) all of u.”

“Just a little bit of heart, a little bit of positivity from me to the city,” Pena added.

Pena is one of a dozen Pierce County artists who are starting to unveil their temporary public art installations in the city. It’s the culmination of a public arts education program offered by Metro Parks Tacoma in partnership with the city of Tacoma.

“I really hope this gives people just a little chance to connect with their community or just have some kind of inspirational moment or moment of hope during this tough time,” said Rebecca Solverson with Tacoma’s Office of Arts & Cultural Vitality.

Instead of his sleeve, you might say Pena left his heart on this building. He hopes it will help someone else feel the love.

“If someone is having a bad day, they’ll see the sign and make them feel a little bit better because it’s been a rough year for everybody. It’s been a rough year for me,” Pena said. “Because at the end of the day, we are a community and we have to stick together.”

Pena’s art will be on display until the end of the month. There are also a couple of other temporary installations around the city and more that will be unveiled next month.