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Outdoor Sculptures on the Rise in Redmond

Once again, art is emerging from the galleries and spilling into the streets.

B

end, as we recently noted, has pieces displayed everywhere from narrow alleys to sizable highway roundabouts. Now it's Redmond's turn. The city just installed three of six sculptures slated to debut this summer as part of its "Art Around the Clock" program, begun in 2011.

"AATC is a rotating outdoor public art gallery," says Jackie Abslag, project coordinator for Redmond's Community Development Department. "We currently have 15 pieces on loan to the city—each for two years. At the end of the two years, the Redmond community will vote for their favorite piece. The winner is purchased by Redmond Committee for Art in Public Places (RCAPP) and then becomes part of Redmond's permanent public art collection." 

The latest works include Sharon Agnor's "Renovation" (Glacier & 7th St.), Andrew Hellman's "Skipper's Jig" (Deschutes & 5th St.) and James Haire's "Short Stack" (City Hall). The latter is a memorial to Kaye Eberhard, who was a Redmond teacher for 26 years. Three more works are due in August and September.

"We are pleased by the overwhelming response from artists throughout the western region and believe it reflects the quality of Redmond's program," says Abslag.

The city's overall public art history goes back to 2006 when Nike's Phil Knight and wife Penny bought and then donated a pair of sculptures to the city. "Redmond currently owns 20 permanent art pieces," Abslag says. "Not to mention numerous paintings throughout the Redmond Airport."

While the city pays for a part of all this, fundraisers and donations cover the rest. Abslag believes it's well worth the cost.

"Public art enhances the community and adds value."


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