'Salmon Tree Cycle' dedication ceremony to be held in September after years of planning

IMAGE COURTESY OF RHIZA A+D AND THE CITY OF ST. HELENS - A conceptual drawing from architecture and design company, rhiza A+D, of the Salmon Tree Cycle art installation. The sculpture will be installed later this month and will be dedicated in September.After nearly a year and half of fundraising, the St. Helens Arts and Cultural Commission is planning to host a dedication ceremony of a new public art piece titled "Salmon Tree Cycle" in mid-September.

The city of St. Helens announced on social media last week that a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for the sculpture that will sit on McNulty Creek Bridge will take place Thursday, Sept. 21.

The project is the second phase of the Gateway Sculptures Project introduced in 2010 by the ACC to beautify Highway 30 and give the roadway a sense of character. Phase one of the project was completed in 2014 when two lantern-like obelisk pillars were installed on the Milton Creek Bridge.

This leg of the project has been in the works for more than two years. In September 2015, the arts commission approved a design proposal and contract with a Portland-based architecture and design company, rhiza A+D, to complete the work.

The Salmon Tree Cycle sculpture includes two pieces that illustrate the impact of salmon life cycles on the rivers they inhabit and the trees that grow on the banks of those rivers.

The sculpture itself is composed of two separate elements which will be installed on McNulty Creek Bridge on the south entrance of the city. One portion will be composed of a fir tree sculpture decorated with salmon silhouettes that will extend skyward 22 feet; the other will be a complimentary 8-foot-tall tree trunk that will sit at the opposite end of the bridge.

Last May, supporters of the project launched an online fundraising campaign on the crowd-source fundraising site Kickstarter to raise $16,000. The project garnered support from 76 backers who helped pledge an amount between $1 and $1,000 toward the fundraising goal.

Associate City Planner Jenny Dimsho said the project has been fully paid for by fundraising or in-kind labor donations. The city of St. Helens pledged a $20,000 match to the project, while a $15,000 portion of the project came from the ACC's reserve funds.

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