top of page


An Art Show & Contest Hosted by Lake Stevens Film Festival and Presented by Creator Zone, and the Lake Stevens Historical Society.


LEGEND HAS IT that in the early 1900’s –when Rucker Mill was central to downtown and locomotives hauled lumber by way of a trestle just over the lake’s surface–one such locomotive derailed, plunging below the water forever.


There were no reported eyewitnesses of the actual event.  


However, many claim to have seen the wreckage while flying overhead or boating over it. Indeed, one longtime resident (and the first mayor of Lake Stevens), Bill Hawkins, claims to have dived deep into the water where the submerged train lay, and was able to “ring its bell”. 


Strangely, many who looked in the area later found nothing – not while swimming nor while fishing. And so, for years area residents debated and argued the existence of “the train in the lake.” 


Then on July 15th, 1995 confirmation was provided by a Navy SEAL team who searched the cove bottom, and succeeded in finding the locomotive. 


Legend was confirmed as fact. 


Dozens of feet below the surface, the engine will remain, settled in the sediment where it landed over 100 years ago.  Once the existence was confirmed, officials closed the case and insisted that the train remain on the lake bottom.


Yet what many do not know, is that when the bell was first rung all those years ago, a rare magic fell over the train.


A beam of light shot out from its headlight, and in front of it, memories of all the places the train had gone and the people it had encountered projected into the lake’s murky waters. Its first audience was just the fish and aquatic life of the lake, but slowly others joined, drawn to the magic light that danced beneath the water’s surface. 

On calm nights as the sky darkens, if you listen closely, the toll of the railroad bell can be faintly heard below the surface. The locomotive shakes and twitches as it awakens.



Logs roll into formation across the lake’s floor to create an underwater amphitheater. The aquatic inhabitants of the lake (and sometimes, others) congregate around the old locomotive as its bell tolls out DING DING DING! Its headlight flickers, then steadies, then hurls out a beam of light - illuminating moving images, telling fantastic stories.


For anyone who will gather and join it. 


Lake Stevens Film Festival calls on artists of all ages to bring this story to life using their medium

of choice. Through dioramas, photorealistic art, paintings, etc–show us how you see this

underwater theater. These works of art will be on display at Lake Stevens High School during

the Lake Stevens Film Festival. A jury will award “Best Of Show” prizes to each category.

Submission Information

Artists and community members are encouraged to submit designs for the “Lights, Camera,

Locomotive” (LCL) Call to Art. This is a fantastic way to showcase your talents to our community, our

visitors, and add to your resume.

  • Projects are open to professional, amateur and student artists.

  • Teams of artists are permitted.

  • Both new and experienced artists are encouraged to submit.

  • Artists may submit more than one design for consideration.

  • Artists of all ages and experience are encouraged to submit artwork. All mediums will be considered, including dioramas, photorealistic art, paintings, digital art, sculpture and cartoon.

  • A "Lights Camera Locomotive" coloring page has been created for artists aged 0-5. These coloring pages is available for download here.

Artists can enter using the form at the bottom of the page by July 5, 2023 at 5pm PT. For coloring page entries in the 0-5 category, artists have the option of dropping off in person at Creator Zone in Lake Stevens. 9015 Vernon Rd #10, Lake Stevens, WA 98258

The “LSFF Lights Camera Locomotive Committee” will review all submissions and select 8 pieces from each category to be displayed at the Lake Stevens High School during the LSFF. Selected artists will be informed by July 12, 2023.

Children: Artists ages 0 – 5

Youth: Artists ages 6 – 12

Teen: 13 – 19

Adult: Artists ages 20+

Responsibilities of Artists

Selected artwork will be displayed at Lake Stevens High School during the Lake Stevens Film Festival. Artists are responsible for delivering their artwork to Lake Stevens High School by 9AM on August 5th.  Any artwork picked up prior to evening Award Ceremony will not be eligible for the “Best In Show” competition.



The artwork will remain the property of the artist. LSFF reserves the right to photograph the artwork, and use the photos in promotional materials including, though not limited to, printed materials, social media posts, slide shows, press releases and the LSFF website.  Following the LSFF, all selected artwork will be displayed at Creator Zone in Lake Stevens through the end of August 2023. Artists are responsible for picking up their art at the conclusion of Creator Zone's gallery period, or rights to art ownership may be forfeited. 


Award Process & Criteria

There will be “Best in Show” awards in four categories: Children, Youth, Teen, Adult.

The “LSFF Lights Camera Locomotive Committee” consisting of local artists and event organizers

will review all submissions and select a winner in each category based on interpretation of the

event's theme, level of creativity and originality, and the quality of the artwork and artistic skill


Winners in each "Best of Show" category will be awarded a certificate and prizes listed below.

Children: Gift basket of art supplies 

Youth: 3 month membership to Creator Zone.

Teen:  3 month membership to Creator Zone.

Adult:  3 month membership to Creator Zone.

Additionally, attendees of the LSFF and LCL Art Show will have the opportunity to vote for the “Viewer’s Choice Award”, for which winners in each category will receive a Certificate. Voting will be onsite and in person during the LSFF prior to award ceremony.

Award Ceremony

A brief awards ceremony will be held that evening on Aug 5th around 5pm. Winners will be announced during the ceremony, and welcomed onstage to accept a certificate and/or their prizes. Art show winners will be awarded just prior to the film festival winners. Winners do not have to attend the ceremony.


July 5: Emailed submissions due

July 12: Selected artists notified

August 3-5: Drop off artwork at LSHS

August 5: Art Show on display at LSHS – public voting, etc

Art & Design Info

To best understand your submission(s), the LSFF LCL Committee would like for you include

information about you and your work. We ask that you include the following with your


● Brief explanation or artist statement of your Art/Design inspiration and why you did what you

did. Include anything that you would like to point out. (100 word limit)

● Artist Biography (50 word limit)

LSHS logo.jpeg

SPECIAL THANKS to the Lake Stevens Historical Society for their commitment to documenting local history and their willingness to explore the blurring of lines between fact and fiction ;)  We are honored to have their partnership and have drawn on their research and writing for this project.


Come explore their booth at LSFF and learn more about the locomotive at the bottom of the lake.



Upload File

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page