Walla Walla Bound - Poetic License, 2008

Buster Simpson
(American, born 1942)

Location: Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla


Buster Simpson's Walla Walla Bound - Poetic License presents different ideas and words about the nearby Mill Creek watershed. It also draws attention to the creative and prison sectors that are key to Walla Walla's community and economy.

The side facing the multi-use trail features poetic phrases inspired by Mill Creek, by local Walla Walla poets Jennifer Boyden, Janice King, Dan Lamberton, and Katrina Roberts. Their words have been stamped onto 144 aluminum license plates created at the nearby State Penitentiary. The license plate colors distinguish one poem from the next. The other side of the artwork features selected text from a scientific habitat assessment for Mill Creek on another 144 license plates.

You can also see and read more about the creation of this artwork in a booklet created by artist Buster Simpson. It is linked as a PDF under "Lesson Plans and Documents".

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Department of Corrections and Walla Walla Community College.


Seattle-based artist Buster Simpson creates conceptual sculptures and public art installations with an emphasis on our relationship to urban growth, the structure of our communities, and our interaction with the environment.

Material CategorySculpture - coated metals
MediumPainted aluminum
Dimensions6 ft x 12 ft
ID NumberWSAC2004.056.002
Acquisition MethodSite responsive commission
Artist LocationWashington, United States
Location Information
AgencyWalla Walla Community College
Artwork LocationWalla Walla Community College
Near Mill Creek Trail and baseball fields
WA CountyWalla Walla
Site TypeCollege
Address500 Tausick Way
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Geo. Coordinates46.076892, -118.278714
Before VisitingSome artworks may be located in areas not accessible to the general public (especially in K-12 public schools). Consider contacting the site prior to a visit to ensure access.