Alchemy Art Center Spearheads Community Mural At San Juan Islands Sculpture Park
From Alchemy Art Center
Many may remember Alchemy Art Center’s community Salmon Mural Project, which first started in the beginning phases of the pandemic early last year.
Now, we are partnering with the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park to create another salmon, on-site, for permanent installation.
Every Sunday from June 20 to Sept. 19, visitors to the park can find Alchemy Art Center Director Maria Michaelson facilitating a tile creation station. Participants will be able to create a unique clay tile to be incorporated as one of the hundreds making up what will ultimately be a freestanding, double-sided sculpture permanently installed at the park.
This project marks the first partnership between these two organizations and is supported in part by the generosity of the San Juan Island Community Foundation. Alchemy is profoundly grateful for the support of both the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park and the Community Foundation in making it possible to bring this project to the broader public.
When Washington’s stay-at-home order went into effect last March, Alchemy Art Center got to work creating a community mosaic that islanders could participate in from home.
The project, a 15-foot salmon made up of about 240 individual tiles, was intended to create a feeling of connection and collaboration during what was an incredibly difficult and isolated time for everyone. The salmon image was chosen for its key role in our Salish Sea ecosystem, and as a symbol of our interdependence.
Some 80 quarantined islanders participated in the project, working from home to create their unique pieces of the larger whole.
Later in the summer, Alchemy Art Center brought this same project to kids at Camp Eagle Rock and the Family Resource Center, creating nearly two more salmon.
Now, one year later, our first salmon is glazed, assembled and proudly installed on the main art building at Alchemy.
Alchemy Art Center, founded by Maria Michaelson and Eben Shay in 2017, is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to creating a thriving arts community on San Juan Island.