When locals get a glance of George and Martha, our resident Eagles, flying overhead, most like to stop and enjoy their beauty as they soar above looking for food or carrying supplies to their nests.
This love of “our” eagles is what inspired the new sculpture in the middle of the roundabout on Lundeen Parkway and Lake Drive.
On Wednesday, June 29, crews from the City of Lake Stevens’ Public Works department installed the metal sculpture, which was commissioned by the Lake Stevens Arts Commission only a few months ago.
The Arts Commission, a completely volunteer committee which works under the City’s guidance, began searching for artists over a year ago.
“We started in spring 2010 by putting out a call to artists,” Arts Commission President Tracy Stevens said. “We were looking for art for the roundabout—specifically honoring our local nesting eagles George and Martha.”
The guidelines were set with a strict budget of no more than $10,700 for the art and the installation, a piece that had little to no maintenance and it had to fit the environment.
“The money comes from a Municipal Arts Fund which the City has, where one percent of eligible capital project costs are put into a separate fund for public art (Lake Stevens Municipal Code chapter 3.38),” Lake Stevens City Administrator Jan Berg said. “The funds resulting from the roundabout project were $10,700. The Arts Commission’s role is to recommend an art project to the City Council for approval. They take into account the cost of the art piece and future maintenance. Maintenance is the responsibility of the City since the art is City property.”
The Arts Commission started receiving applicants immediately and started working the process to find just the right piece.
“We got about a dozens submissions and narrowed it down to our top three favorites,” Stevens said. “The finalists were each very different and we couldn’t come to a consensus, so we decided to wait until we had more money and more ideas.”
The Arts Commission received ideas for some mosaic pieces, compilation pieces with old parts. They were concerned about rust.
“They were all incredible in their own right. It’s only our second piece of art so we wanted something that everyone can relate to,” Stevens explained.
Soon afterward Stevens was taking a drive on the Stanwood-Camano Island Bridge and something caught her eye. It was a sculpture done by Camano Island artist Debbi Rhoades at Goddess of Metal Art.
“I contacted the artist,” Stevens said. “She had an eagle as part of her art. I told her I’d like to see two eagles touching in flight. I gave her the budget and she made up a scale model and brought it to one of our meetings and we all fell in love with it. That was about four months ago.”
The sculpture is made from Core 10 metal which is a very heavy duty metal. The eagles’ heads, tails and the mountain peak are stainless steel which reflects the light so that they appear to be white.
“We’re just thrilled. We picked it and recommended it to City Council. It was ultimately their approval,” Stevens said. “We wanted to place it on the roundabout because we think of it as kind of the gateway to downtown and we thought it could honor what the town is about. The eagles have had nests near there and Eagle Ridge Park is nearby. Everyone enjoys the eagles and the piece is rather timeless looking.”
The City Council couldn’t have agreed more.
“The City Council was excited about the art representing the eagles.
George and Martha are such a great representation of what Lake Stevens
Is,” Berg said.
Over the next month the landscaping around the sculpture should be complete. The hope is that it will be finished by Aquafest weekend.
“Former Lake Stevens Mayor Diana Hale, who now owns Tranquil Garden Designs is donating her talent and time for the landscaping. She is working with Public Works and they are installing rocks, boulders and slow growing evergreens,” Stevens said. “We would like native and natural looking plantings that would normally be where eagles fly.”
The official dedication should be sometime in September.
The Arts Commission wants to thank Mick Monken and Justin Evans and all of the employees in the Lake Stevens Public Works department who have been a critical part of getting the sculpture installed.
The Lake Stevens Arts Commission is made up of seven local volunteer commissioners. They meet twice a month and must live in the UGA. Currently they are looking for a new commissioner to fill one of the empty chairs.
The Arts Commission is responsible for Music on the Lake, Blooms Around the Lake, Chalk It Up at Aquafest, Holiday Lights Around the Lak