New Wildlife Art Installation in Downtown Friday Harbor

Posted May 17, 2019 at 5:44 am by

Paired Owls - SJ Update photo

Islanders may rec­og­nize the two bronze wildlife sculp­tures now resid­ing at the cor­ner of Sec­ond and West Streets across from Town Hall.

Red Fox (2001) and Paired Owls (2006) by Whid­bey Island artist Geor­gia Ger­ber had most recent­ly been on dis­play at San Juan Islands Sculp­ture Park at Roche Har­bor. The Fri­day Har­bor Arts Com­mis­sion (FHAC) select­ed the pieces for acqui­si­tion into the Town’s pub­lic art collection.

Red Fox - SJ Update photo

“It’s now a space that peo­ple can expe­ri­ence and enjoy rather than sim­ply pass through,” said May­or Farhad Ghatan. “Our hope is that these sculp­tures pro­vide an oppor­tu­ni­ty to feel close to our trea­sured island wildlife.”

Parks Depart­ment employ­ee Sare­na Schu­mach­er had asked the FHAC to con­sid­er the site for an art instal­la­tion as it was pre­vi­ous­ly occu­pied by green­ery that strug­gled to thrive. The com­mis­sion had been con­sid­er­ing options for bring­ing wildlife art into the town, and they had dis­cussed bor­row­ing or pur­chas­ing art­work from the sculp­ture park. 

This site was found to be ide­al for both pur­pos­es. In addi­tion, the sculp­ture park offered the pieces to the Town at a dis­count­ed price in sup­port of the Town’s efforts to grow their col­lec­tion and to increase the sculp­ture park’s pro­file with­in town. The art­work was pur­chased with monies from the Town’s munic­i­pal arts and lodg­ing tax funds. In keep­ing with the design of near­by Breeze­way Park, pedestals were cre­at­ed from boul­ders which were donat­ed by Paula Sund­strom in her father’s memory.

This is the third major pub­lic art project for the FHAC which was formed in 2015 to advise the Town Coun­cil on the cul­ti­va­tion, selec­tion, acqui­si­tion, and place­ment of pub­lic art. Ear­li­er projects include Jake Wagoner’s mur­al in Sunken Park and Tom Small’s stonework in Breeze­way Park. The FHAC is sched­uled to install a stat­ue of town founder Edward War­bass on First Street lat­er this year.

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Categories: Arts
One comment:

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  1. Water­Works Gallery in Fri­day Har­bor, estab­lished in 1985, rep­re­sents the artist’s cur­rent works and they are on dis­play at the gallery locat­ed at 315 Argyle Avenue. The newest piece Step Rab­bits por­trays a pair of rab­bits descend­ing steps. Very sweet. Stop by the gallery to vis­it this artist’s work. Best — Ruth Offen, Director

    Comment by Ruth Offen on May 18, 2019 at 4:29 am

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