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Rotary Children's Fountain finally sees home in Scappoose, as Salmon Tree sculpture adds to Highway 30 art

Two notable public art projects — one long-awaited, the other somewhat reviled — both saw installation celebrations this

year.SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - Children play in the heavy mist emitted by the newly installed Columbia County Rotary Childrens Fountain in Scappoose during a dedication ceremony in October.

In Scappoose, the first sprays of a Columbia County Rotary Children's Fountain in Heritage Park were something truly special to take in. Designed and constructed by world-renowned designer Michael Curry, the children's fountain now stands tall in the park next to Scappoose City Hall, with a water feature and synchronized lights and music making for a visceral experience.

With donations from the Rotary Club of Columbia County, Michael Curry Design Studios, Northwest College of Construction, and grant funding the city secured, the fountain finally came to fruition after years of delays and anticipation.

The tree-shaped fountain was installed and officially unveiled to the public in October, past peak summertime weather, but children didn't hesitate to run through showers of mist during the October dedication ceremony.

Salmon Tree sculpture goes up in St. Helens

St. Helens also saw the installation of a new public art piece, the Salmon Tree Cycle sculpture, which now sits on Highway 30.

The two-piece sculpture was installed in late August after a year-and-a-half long process of fundraising, design work and fabrication. The project was intended to be phase two of the Gateway Sculpture Project, which was first headed by the St. Helens Arts Commission in 2010 as a way to add visual appeal and character to one of the main roadways in the city.

After the project was installed, it garnered a backlash of negative attention on social media for its appearance and the budgeted $62,000 in project costs, but numerous supporters of the work backed the project, lauding the efforts of the Portland-based artists who designed the work and were selected through a public process in 2015 to do the work and fundraising efforts by the ACC.

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