Salmon are running in
Internationally renowned, local artist, George David was commissioned by the Lake Stevens Arts Council to carve two five-foot long salmon as a project to help beautify the city.
The beautiful carvings were created by David originally for a project he did for the Port of Seattle who gave the carvings to their sister city in Chongqing, China. .
The original salmon took about two and half weeks to create but David had problems getting the cedar for the Lake Stevens salmon so these salmon took over three months to finish.
“The cedar used in the carvings is over 700 years old,” David said. “I had to get one of the logs from Bremerton but for the other log I had to go to Canada.”
Because of the size of the fish David wasn’t able to keep the carvings inside and with the crazy weather this past winter keeping the wood pliable to carve didn’t come easy.
“ I was constantly fighting the elements. Keeping the wood moist with spray bottles and covering them up took time,” David stated.
Karen Alessi of the Lake Stevens Arts Council said that after reading the article on David in the Journal last year she and the council thought it would be a good idea to meet with David and see about commissioning him to do a carving for the roundabout.
“We knew of his work and wanted to honor the salmon here in Lake Stevens,” Alessi said, “There’s a salmon stream right down the river here.”
David tried to explain to the Arts Council exactly what he had in mind but some couldn’t picture a five-foot salmon.
“I’m five foot four inches tall,” explained David, “they’ll be just about my size.”
He then made full-size models of the salmon out of cardboard and after weeks of collaboration and discussion, they finally decided that a replica of the carving sent to China would be perfect for the roundabout.
The carvings are set in 2,000 pounds of concrete which is three feet deep and are bolted on with eight huge bolts.
While driving the roundabout motorists honk, wave and give David the thumbs up sign leaving him with a smile of satisfaction of another job very well done.
There will be a dedication held within the next few weeks with members from the Tulalip tribe with their dancers and drums, the Mayor, city council and the Lake Stevens Arts Council joining in the celebration.