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Funds raised for new art project at Oak Harbor High School

After months of passing the hat around, a public art project at Oak Harbor High School will move forward.

Former high school teacher and artist Richard Nash raised matching money needed for the Oak Harbor School District to participate in the Art in Public Spaces 1/2 of 1 percent program sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission.

The Arts Commission has $21,000 available to the school district, which is part of the high school renovation project, but the school district wasn’t able to chip in the $9,600 matching amount required.

Oak Harbor High School Superintendent Rick Schulte announced during a Tuesday school board workshop that Nash raised the matching amount and outlined the steps needed to make the art become a reality.

Nash said that, since December, he has worked to raise money for the project.

“It started out slowly, but it gathered momentum later on,” Nash said. He held a fundraiser, an evening of dessert and entertainment, that raised the final amounts when participants .

The type and kind of art that will go into the high school remain unanswered questions.

A committee at the high school, which will include one student, will form to come up with ideas and meet with a representative from the Washington State Arts Commission.

Once the committee settles on the details of the art project, they will search the commissions roster of approved artists to find one suitable for the work.

The roster contains a list of 400 to 500 artists who can complete work for the Washington Arts Commission.

Nash, an art teacher at Oak Harbor High School for 30 years and a current sculptor and painter, said he isn’t on the roster for the art commission, and even if he was, he wouldn’t want to be considered because of a potential conflict of interest.

Once the committee is formed, he expects a concept will be determined and an artist selected by the end of the school year.

It could take up to one year for the artist to create the piece.

Once complete, a public unveiling will be held.

 

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