Visual artists Mallory Battista and Lisa Soranaka met when the two repaired Soranaka’s
“Lilac City” railway underpass mural in fall of 2021. The two connected over their shared
community-minded ideologies and passion for public art and art education. Both have
experience planning and executing public art works, including sculptural installations
and murals. Earlier this year, they applied for and were awarded a shared studio
residency at Spokane Public Library’s The Hive for October 2022 through March 2023.
With support from SAGA, Battista and Soranaka will execute a large mosaic sculpture for
the public, to be installed at the base of the Monroe hill. The sculpture will incorporate
tiles made by community members at free workshops, which the two will host
throughout their studio residency at The Hive.
The finished sculpture will be a 3,000 lb ‘mosaicked masterpiece’ containing hundreds
of tiles handmade by community members, enlivening the Emerson-Garfield and North
Hill neighborhoods for decades to come with its bright colors and uplifting motif. Titled,
Sun Shine Through, the vision is a large cloud-shaped sculpture with a bright sun shining
on one side and a colorful rainbow and raindrops on the other. When the sculpture is
installed at the base of the Monroe hill, the sunshine side will be facing south-bound
drivers entering Emerson-Garfield, and the rainbow will greet those heading north up
the hill, which for locals will understand as the Garland District being “somewhere over
the rainbow.” The sculpture exemplifies universal images of positivity and hope, and it
will be striking once installed outdoors with all of the stained glass glittering in the light
between custom glazed ceramic tiles.
“Participating in public art is an empowering and rewarding experience, and having a
hand in building something so highly visible and beautiful in turn makes people feel
seen and valued and proud.” –Mallory Battista