Early afternoon in Wenatchee June 14th I’m finishing up work and packing my things to head back to Renton. One challenge of work and travel is making time to look around. I did a little research before I drove over and found several great photos of sculptures shared on Google+.
Soon I discovered Riverfront Park and Wenatchee’s Art on the Avenues. The park is only a few blocks from our office in town and I was excited to see these works in person. At the time I had no idea of the scope of this project. Later I found out there are 85 works in the park and around town.
One of the first pieces I came to (and appropriately so) was “Welcome” by Jim Johnson, from Salem, Oregon. This impressive sculpture is about 10 feet tall and made of bronze, stainless steel, and copper. True to history, indigenous people of the area were welcoming.
“Wings” by Gary Lee Price, Springville, Utah harkens me back to dreams of flight as a boy. This photo doesn’t do it justice, the piece is very rich with expressive detail. I had to shoot upward and my iPhone was having issues with the sun high in the sky. I love its energy, not only is the toy plane about to launch, it feels as if the boy is going to take off and fly too.
"Alexander Griggs Walking" by Richard Beyer, Bill Layman, Cheryl Wrangle, Steve Love. I’m a long time fan of Richard Beyer and was delighted to find this whimsical collaboration. Rich has a number of sculptures throughout the Seattle area, most famously his “Waiting for the Interurban” in the Fremont neighborhood and I drive by “Donkey run away from the Mines” a several times a week in Renton.
Captain Griggs was an early Wenatchee pioneer who started a river boat business on the Columbia River back in the late 1800’s. Before coming out west to Washington he was a steamboat captain on the Mississippi River and founder of Grand Forks, North Dakota. He loved Wenatchee and his thumb’s up is saying it’s a great day to take a steamboat ride up the river.
I’m impressed with Wenatchee and its relationship with public art. This beautiful 31 acre park along the river is such a precious use of space. I look forward to my next trip and I'll plan a lot more time to explore Art on the Avenues.