Art in the park is turning heads

Published on Thu, May 3, 2001 by Brendan Shriane

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Art in the park is turning heads

By Brendan Shriane

Watch out for giant chickens, grumpy geese and massive tulips. Peace Arch State park is sprouting some strange summer residents.

The fourth annual Peace Arch Park international sculpture exhibition opened May 1, featuring the likes of “Ruffus Two.” The giant chicken made of metal objects found by Dan Klennert of Elbe, Washington is now roosting along I-5 just on the American side of the border.

Other featured pieces include “A Day in the Park,” a clay and metal piece by Nicola Princen of Salt Spring Island, B. C., depicting five perturbed-looking geese sitting on an elevated metal bench, and “Wind Dancer,” a colorful metal statue by Santa Rosa, California’s Nick Westbrook. The bright red and yellow piece is topped with tulip-like flowers that spin in the wind.

“One of the best things about this exhibit is it fits into almost every tourist’s schedule – it’s available 24 hours a day. That’s a wonderful amenity for any community to have,” said Christina Alexander of the United States-Canada Peace Anniversary Association, the sponsor of the art festival.

The organization also sponsors 12 art installations around Blaine, called “Art by the Bay – Semiahmoo to Blaine.” Eight of the pieces have already been placed downtown, including a hollowed out log called “Environmental Totem” by the train station and the “Springing Dragon” in front of Sterling Savings. Four more are on the way, including a piece called “Hole-e-cow” that is looking for a meadow to rest in. The cow and the other pieces, including one in front of city hall, will be installed in the next two weeks.

“By putting it downtown we are creating a link between the park and downtown. Those people will be encouraged to visit downtown,” Alexander said “It’s not only a wonderful thing esthetically it’s beneficial in getting people who might just stay in the park into the downtown.”

The city gave the non-profit group $6,000 of lodging tax revenue to support the show. Alexander said that money covers insurance and the cost of making the self-guided tour brochure, available at the park and the Blaine visitor information center.

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