La Conner Sculpture Exhibit

La Conner Arts Commission Sculpture
What is the Sculpture Exhibit and why was it needed?
The Sculpture Exhibit is a bi-annual show of outdoor sculptures placed around La Conner to
promote art, education, and diversity. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the presence of these
sculptures and the walking tour they can participate in. Sculptures are created by artists residing
in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and British Columbia.
The La Conner Sculpture Exhibit began two years ago with the efforts of an extraordinary group
of Arts Commission members. The community of La Conner is known for the four elements one
might see in our marketing brochures: Earth, Water, Art, and History. As stated in the ""Art"'
section of our brochure:
Inspired by the magnificence and proximity of mountains and forests, river and sea and soothed
by the cadence of the seasons, artists in the late thirties first sought refuge - a place and pace to
nourish their creativity. What evolved is art unique to the Northwest that invites contemplation
and initiates response to the influence upon the artist of earth,, water, and light; personal history
and adventures; Asian philosophies and Coastal Indian traditions. Presenting and preserving this
work became the genesis for the only museum dedicated to regional art. La Conner continues to
inspire and reflect the work of artists - literary, performing, and visual.
Museums, festivals, galleries, and arts organizations all illustrate that La Conner is an artistic
community that derives inspiration from its history and nature's generosity. The Sculpture Walk
supports and strengthens this. Ultimately, the need is prevalent in all our communities. Art and
culture affect the way residents view their environment, and the way visitors enjoy their
destination. As our Art's Alive Festival button pins state: ""Gotta Have Art"'!
How does the Sculpture Exhibit operate?
Entries must be for existing works of art
Images are submitted as slides, photos, or web Pages
All sculptures must be durable and suitable for outdoor installation
The artist is responsible for delivery to La Conner
A jury selects the sculptures
If necessary, La Conner will provide footings and arrange specific attachment details
with the artist, as well as provide machinery for installation if needed
Sculptures are on loan to the Town for two years and will be insured by the Town
The Arts Commission and merchants will promote sales. 25% of all sales will go to the
La Conner Arts Commission
There is no entry fee
The artist, Town of La Conner and the Arts Commission will sign a contract
An installation ceremony occurs, involving members of the community and the
participating artists. This celebration generally includes music, food, and other festivities
including the official first 'walk' of the new installation.
What are the costs of the Sculpture Exhibit?
The expenditure budget for 2005 is $4,100. This includes office and operating supplies, event
expenses, professional services, postage, and printing. In 2004, an additional $9,500 was
expended due to the use of machinery and equipment to install the new exhibit. This cost will
occur bi- annually when the exhibit changes. Other indirect or absorbed costs include Public
Works labor time to install sculptures, and volunteer time by the Arts Commission members for
the selection of sculpture and planning of the installation event. The Jon and Mary Shirley
Foundation has also contributed $10,000 to the exhibition funding.
How does the Sculpture Exhibit benefit the town/community?
The Sculpture Exhibit provides another source of art appreciation, education, and enjoyment for
residents and visitors alike. It has received editorial and photo opportunities through several
regional publications, including the Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer weekend/travel sections. La
Conner has been described as authentic, picturesque, charming, and quaint. The presence of
visual art in the community adds to the overall appearance, feeling, and experience that people
have regardless if they have lived in here for 50 years or just visited for the weekend.
La Conner is also considered a walkable community. You can walk from one section of town to
the other within a matter of minutes. In addition to being able to take a walking tour of several
historical buildings and homes, the sculpture walk is another option, or many times, along the
same route as several other points of interest.
Cultural tourism, according to several research reports, is a growing trend in vacation and travel
planning. Many people plan their vacations or even short trips around cultural activities, art
opportunities (whether performing, visual, or literary), and heritage experiences. The Sculpture
Exhibit is one component of La Conner’s attraction and commitment to excellence, diversity,
and access to the arts.
Mission Statement of the La Conner Arts Commission
The La Conner Arts Commission fosters the excellence, vitality, diversity and accessibility of the
arts as a fundamental resource for the quality of life in our region. Its goal is to achieve in La
Conner, a public arts program that is unequaled by any other town of its size in America.
The La Conner Arts Commission is a responsive and accountable public agency, guided by
active citizen involvement, which multiplies La Conner's core investment of funds by promoting
participation, innovation, partnerships and regional perspective.