Port Townsend public art proposals narrowed to five; public can meet finalists March 25
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City employee Scottie Foster, left, and artist selection committee member Max Grover go through a file of submissions for the uptown public art installation. Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — A city panel has selected five creations as the finalists for the city’s next piece of public art.

The sculpture, to be located in the uptown neighborhood, is expected to have a different flavor than the last piece of public art installed in Port Townsend.

That work, 2011’s “Salish Sea Circle,” an 8-foot-tall bronze work by Seattle artist Gerard Tsutakawa placed in the Civic District plaza, has become a downtown tourist attraction.

“We are really excited about the possibilities,” said Erin Fristad, chair of the artist selection committee for the Port Townsend Arts Commission.

“There were so many good proposals, and the artists spent a lot of time getting to know the uptown community,” she said.

The committee made its selection Monday from 29 proposals received “from around the region and around the world,” Fristad said.

The public can meet the artists and view their proposals at 3 p.m. March 25 in the third-floor conference room at City Hall, 250 Madison St.

Five finalists

The five finalists and their proposals are:

■   Matt Babcock of Seattle — An 11-foot-tall purple street clock in front of the Port Townsend Community Center.

■   Carapace Arts of Port Townsend, including sculptors Sara Ybarra Lopez and Mark Stevenson — “Spirit of Uptown,” a working weather vane and bench decorated with tiles painted with scenes of the Port Townsend Farmers Market and street fair activities.

■   Dennis Kuklok of Brinnon — A gateway system scattered throughout the neighborhood, using custom light fixtures, sculptures and brackets.

■   Seth Rolland of Port Townsend — A brick island seating area on the front lawn of the Port Townsend Recreation Center.

■   Joshua Weiner of Boulder, Colo. — Two 18-foot-tall sculptures that picture a history of Port Townsend on a timeline.

Fristad hopes the sculpture can be selected and installed late this year.

This is round two for the project, which has a $20,000 budget.

The Port Townsend Arts Commission did not find a strong favorite in the first round of submissions last summer and asked for new proposals at the beginning of the year.

Unlike the last selection process, the finalists will not be asked to prepare three-dimensional models of their proposals, Fristad said.

“Every public art chair addressing artists writes about the high quality of the proposals received, but this isn’t lip service,” Fristad said, adding that panelists were “profoundly moved by the quality of work we had the honor and challenge of considering.

“The proposals were strong both in concept and design,” she said.

“It’s clear that you made thoughtful attempts at representing our much-beloved uptown neighborhood.”


Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 18. 2014 7:12PM
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