Portland-based artist Pete Beeman created Welcome Wagon to celebrate the Palo Alto Fire Department and how they serve their community with open hearts and hands. The fundamental visual of this artwork is the representation of the role firefighters play in our community. Welcome Wagon is a kinetic bench that moves along a track, inviting visitors and pedestrians to turn the crank and play with the wagon. With the fire truck being such an iconic symbol of firefighters, the feeling of being on a moving vehicle is an important aspect of the experience. One of the graphics on the body of the wagon is a wrench only carried by firefighters, matching a five-sided bolt head found on fire hydrants.
Pete Beeman is an artist working mostly in large scale sculpture. Much of his work moves, and much is interactive. His studio is based in Portland, OR, though he spends extended periods in New York City.
"With sculpture, I attempt to communicate only well enough to inspire a related response, without dictating the experience. I am not declaring universal truths; I am exploring the world from my perspective and putting forth fragments and speculations." Pete Beeman