Russell Jaqua’s sculpture “For Willene” will be installed Wednesday at the Visitor Center Plaza. (Peninsula Daily News file)

Russell Jaqua’s sculpture “For Willene” will be installed Wednesday at the Visitor Center Plaza. (Peninsula Daily News file)

Jaqua sculpture to be installed Wednesday

PORT TOWNSEND — A Jaqua sculpture titled “For Willene” will be installed Wednesday at the Visitor Center Plaza, as the project reaches completion.

The sculpture will be placed at the plaza in front of the Visitors Center on the corner of Jefferson Street and Sims Way that has been under construction since early summer, as part of the upgrades to that area.

The sculpture was created by artist-blacksmith Russell Jaqua and was donated to the city of Port Townsend by his wife. It has a spiral form that is based on the same motif as Jaqua’s design on the City Hall Annex railing that eventually became the basis of the city logo.

Jaqua is well known in the area for large-scale forged art and lived in Port Townsend from 1974 until his death in 2006.

“The donation of this stunning sculpture to the Port Townsend public art collection is not only the perfect expression of Russell and Willene Jaqua’s commitment to art as a celebration of place but also of the City’s premise that public art animates civic dialogue and strengthens the very fabric of community,” Kris Morris, chair of the Arts Commission Public Arts Committee, said in a press release.

An official dedication of the sculpture is set for 4 p.m. Nov. 2. An exhibit of Jaqua’s remaining artwork will be on display from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Northwind Arts Center located at 701 Water St., after the dedication.

The exhibit is sponsored by Northwind Arts Center and Port Townsend School of the Arts and will include sculptures and furniture that hasn’t been for sale previously.

Jaqua’s wife, Willene Jaqua McRae, has donated all proceeds from the exhibit to programs and future planning of both the arts center and the school of the arts.

At noon Nov. 3 at the Rose Theater at 235 Taylor St. will be a screening of “The Blacksmith Boondoggle: Making ‘For Willene’ ” by Port Townsend videographer Jane Champion, followed by a panel lecture titled “Russell Jaqua and the New Iron Age of the American Craft Movement.”

The panel will include Bay Area metal designer Michael Bondi, Arizona sculptor Fred Borcherdt and Port Townsend metalsmith Jim Garrett.

The Visitor Center Plaza project is planned to be completed before the Nov. 2 dedication ceremony, said public works project manager Laura Parsons.


Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected].

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