Alchemy Art Center Spearheads Community Mural At San Juan Islands Sculpture Park

Posted March 22, 2021 at 5:30 am by

Contributed Photo/Alchemy Art Center

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.

Contributed Photo/Alchemy Art Center. Finished mural.

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.

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Categories: Arts, Community

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