PORT ANGELES — The door to the woods is open.
There are many ways in, it turns out, to the Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center (PAFAC), at 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd. The 5-acre swath is open dawn till dusk 365 days a year, beckoning visitors with more than 100 works of art.
This Saturday at 10 a.m., PAFAC’s Sarah Jane will guide an hour-long tour of the woods and their newest sculptures. Installed as part of the new “Endurance of Change” collection, they range from “Nest, Egg and Cocoon” by Polly Purvis to Aleister Jones’ “Woven Stump” to Lucy Congdon Hanson’s “Spoonful.”
Self-guided walks in these woods are free, while tickets to the scheduled tour with Jane, gallery and program director at the arts center, are $15, or free for children under 12.
Jane books a maximum of 12 people on the walk; to sign up, visit PAFAC.org and use the Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park link at the top left side of the page. More information can be had by phoning 360-457-3532.This is also the final weekend for the PAFAC’s large-scale indoor show, “Conservation from Here,” in the Esther Webster Gallery. Admission is free to mixed-media artist Joseph Rossano’s exhibition, open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday.
“I love it,” Jane said, “when people who do not identify as ‘art people’ come on the tour,” and they ask questions that open up lively conversations.
“This summer we added 12 pieces,” she said.
Several are existing sculptures that have been restored and reinstalled. Their creators are artists from across and beyond the North Olympic Peninsula.Upon arrival at a given sculpture, Jane might ask: What do you observe about this piece? What do you think it means, and how do you think the title applies to this thing we’re looking at?
“The more of these tours I do, the more I learn so much from the participants. People bring their own perspectives in really interesting ways,” she said.
Webster’s Woods is rich with sculptures installed over the past 21 years, Jane added. The late PAFAC executive director Jake Seniuk began “Art Outside,” the ongoing expansion of sculptures in the park, back in summer 2000.
Some, Jane said, have become artifacts from another time — something different from what the sculptor may have intended.
As she walks through the woods, she said, “I am really interested in the difference between art and artifact.”
More about the haven of sculptures, trees and walking paths, including a park map and virtual tours of the forest, is found at PAFAC.org via the Webster’s Woods link.
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]