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1 Percent for the Arts pays off in limestone

Workers load up Oak Harbor’s new sculpture which will be unveiled to the pubic Friday, Aug. 29.  -
Workers load up Oak Harbor’s new sculpture which will be unveiled to the pubic Friday, Aug. 29.
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The Oak Harbor Arts Commission will unveil the limestone sculpture “Release” during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, Aug. 29, at 2 p.m. at Fort Nugent Park.

This is the first piece of public art brought about as a result of Oak Harbor’s “1 percent for the arts” program.

The entire community is invited to celebrate along with Oak Harbor Mayor Jim Slowik, the City Council, Arts Commission and sculptor Don Lawler. The sculpture site is located adjacent to the popular playground.

Lawler’s sculpture was selected from among 16 unique sculptures submitted in the Art Commission’s first national call-to-artists last winter.

His design is described as a seed pod bursting to release sprouts and leaf forms. It represents the potential in the individual and, by extension, all mankind. The symbolism of the opening seed also speaks to the evolution of art in Oak Harbor and a growing appreciation for public art and the benefits it brings to a thriving community.

This work of art cost $11,000 which represents 1 percent of the Fort Nugent Park construction expenditures.

The city started setting aside 1 percent of projects for art in 2005 in conjunction with the formation of the Arts Commission. Art funds are generated by all city funded capital improvement projects.

With the dedication of “Release” on Aug. 29, Oak Harbor officially joins a growing number of Washington towns which enthusiastically encourage and support public art.

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