Did you know over 60 sculptures beautifully decorate downtown Everett? Not only that, but more are expected to join what has now become a magnificent Everett sculpture walk in the years to come — all thanks to the Arts Fund!
Created in 1974, Everett became one of the first cities in the United States to adopt a percent-for-art ordinance, so now, 1% of eligible city capital improvement project funds are set aside for the commission, purchase, and installation of these focal masterpieces that decorate the city streets.
The fund has aided in the creation of a colorful Everett sculpture walk, and here are just a few of the highlights you’ll find along the way!
2000 Hewitt Avenue, Everett
Standing 20 feet tall in front of the formerly known Everett Events Center, now Angel of the Winds Arena is a towering masterpiece known as “Trivergence.” The stainless-steel fountain sculpture by Ulrich Pakker debuted in front of the arena in 2004. An Everett program that earmarks 1 percent of a building’s construction costs to public art paid $68,000 for the work. The German-born Seattle artist originally created a smaller piece of the same sculpture that stood only eight feet tall, known as the first TriElements. It was presented at the 2003 Post Alley Sculpture Garden. After which, Pakker won his first monumental public art commission for the 20-foot-tall version that now calls Everett home.
11928 Beverly Park Road, Everett
In Paine Field Community Park, you’ll find a local Everett sculpture out of this world. The 16-foot-diameter aluminum disk that stands on 9-foot telescoped legs known as “Landing Zone” is an installation by Seattle sculptor Peter Reiquam and was installed in 2009. The saucer’s middle consists of a blue skylight that acts as a transporter beam for curious earthlings, along with a large concrete “X” that marks a spot in the foreground, representing a landing zone. The giant space rock boulders surrounding the aircraft double as seats for those awaiting lift-off. It’s truly a unique piece to the Everett community and was recognized in 2010 by Americans for the Arts as one of the best public art projects in the United States.
1205 Craftsman Way, Everett
After several years of collaboration, the Fisherman’s Tribute Committee, in partnership with the Port of Everett, installed a “Fisherman’s Tribute” along the Everett waterfront on June 23, 2011. The statue was created to honor the contributions made by the men and women of Everett’s fishing community. Kevin Pettelle of Sultan was the brilliant artist behind the fabrication of the statue, who was carefully selected by the Tribute Committee. He worked closely with fishing families during the creative process so he could accurately depict hardworking fishermen. The result of this collaboration was a larger-than-life bronze statue of a fisherman in old-style rain gear, pulling in a net containing salmon that now proudly sits facing the Everett waterfront, depicting the region’s fishing heritage.
10th Street Boat Launch, Everett
Also along the Everett Waterfront at the boat launch is another towering piece known as “Surf II.” The distinctive steel sculpture was initially created for downtown Everett to rejuvenate and beautify the downtown area, particularly Colby Avenue, where the piece was originally installed. It was the city’s first piece of public art when it was formally dedicated on July 8, 1976. The work stands 14 feet tall at its highest point and features nine finger-like pieces that jut upward to create an abstract wave of sorts, gracefully greeting passersby.
Despite the city’s good intentions and the dedication put into the piece by Astoria, Oregon designer Stanley Wanlass, Surf II was controversial in its early days. While some defended it as a downtown focal point that would help Everett strengthen its emerging identity, others scoffed at the $18,900 statue proclaiming it to be a waste of money and dubbing it mocking names such as “Big Foot” or “Whale’s Tale.” Eventually, the piece was moved in 1983 to its new, more suitable location along the waterfront site, where its abstract wave shape seems more compatible with the marine environment.
Transformation of a Seawolf
SE Corner of Colby & Everett
A beautiful Salish-inspired sculpture by renowned Tulalip Tribes artist James Madison is found in downtown Everett. The Coast Salish Native artist was inspired by a story his father told him about a supernatural creature who hunts killer whales and is thusly named “Transformation of a Seawolf.” The story goes that this creature could compare to four of the largest Long Houses in size and hunted at sea as well as on land. In his representation, you can see James’s use of Tlingit form line style to showcase the whales designed into the creature’s body, representing the wolf and orca, morphing into each other to create the legendary “seawolf.” Indeed a magnificent piece by a talented artist; it’s no wonder James was named Snohomish County’s “Artist of the Year” by Schack Art Center in 2013.
These are simply a few of the many beautiful pieces of artwork decorating the streets of Everett, making up a memorable Everett Sculpture Walk that residents and visitors alike can enjoy for years to come, thanks to the Arts Fund!