By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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In the front yard of the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd., the “Re Creation” community sculpture project will begin taking shape this morning and afternoon at the hands of local artists of all ages and backgrounds.
This is art for and by the people: Children from Franklin Elementary School are coming today, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula kids will arrive later in the week, and the general public is welcome throughout.
During “Re Creation” construction from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Saturday, participation is free for all, said Karen White, the arts center contractor leading the project.
Drop-ins offering helping hands are welcome, she emphasized.
“We definitely encourage people to come and check out what’s going on,” White said Tuesday.
On June 1 at the center, she gave a slide-illustrated lecture about community sculptures she’s facilitated: about 30 of them in Colorado, Washington and Oregon since 2007.
Then, White invited input from Port Angeles-area residents on what they want for themselves.
The message was clear: We like the nest idea, attendees told White.
And when she discussed that with Franklin students earlier this month, the question was: Can we put eggs in it?
“That’s something we’re going to attempt,” White said.
She’s made “eggs” before, from grasses and other natural materials found nearby.
Call for sticks
Hired last winter by fine arts center Executive Director Robin Anderson to orchestrate “Re Creation,” White began calling for sticks this spring.
And as building starts, White still wants twigs and branches — provided they have smooth bark and are no bigger than a nickel or quarter coin in diameter.
“As long as we have sticks, we’ll build,” she said, adding that she’ll welcome more sticks through Thursday. Come Friday and Saturday, she urges people to phone the fine arts center at 360-457-3532 to check on the demand.
“Re Creation” may morph a bit from the nest idea, White said.
This project is hands-on and then some: People will be able to get inside it, take pictures of friends and family in the nest, and otherwise enjoy it through the summer.
Only new outdoor piece
As it turns out, the sculpture will be the fine arts center’s only new outdoor installation.
Anderson had issued a call for artists to create new works for Webster’s Woods, the 5-acre art park surrounding the center, and scheduled a June 23 opening reception for the new “Art Outside” season.
But there won’t be a fresh crop of art in the forest this year.
“We had so few applications, there wasn’t enough to have a juried competition,” Anderson said in an email.
“I’m going to cancel the reception on June 23 and rethink our approach to this program for the future.”
Thanks to the previous 13 seasons of “Art Outside,” the program begun in 2000 by now-retired arts center Executive Director Jake Seniuk, dozens of permanent sculptures adorn the woods.
But last December, vandals attacked the park, disfiguring many of the works and destroying a few.
Webster’s Woods was closed until late January as a small army of artists and other volunteers repaired much of the damage.
The park reopened, and remains so, from dawn to dusk daily.
The fine arts center’s indoor art gallery, meanwhile, is the setting for “Lucid,” Shelton artist Barbara De Pirro’s atmospheric installation.
The show, which blends plastic jugs, wire and the air flowing through the room, stays up through June 30.
The gallery is open with free admission from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.
For more information about “Lucid,” the “Re Creation” project and other activities around the center, phone 360-457-3532, email PAFAC@olypen.com or visit www.PAFAC.org.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at email@example.com.