Photo courtesy Lin McJunkin
Sculptors have been chosen for a Des Moines public art initiative; The Des Moines Art Commission seeks donations for sculpture pedestals. Pictured is "Riparian Totem", an outdoor piece by artist Lin McJunkin, one of the participating sculptors.

Sculptors chosen for Des Moines public art initiative; Art Commission seeks donations for sculpture pedestals

A panel selected by the Des Moines Arts Commission has chosen four sculptors, plus a Highline High School welding class, to each display a piece outdoors near the marina and downtown. This public art initiative, "ART on POVERTY BAY" invited professional and emerging sculptors and artists to submit their work for one year on loan to the city. The artists can then sell their piece to the public. The arts commission will receive a 20-percent commission on art sold, to go toward the purchase of sculptures for a city sculpture garden. Then new sculptors will be chosen in a rotation.

The first four locations are: MVD (Marine View Drive) & 216th at the SE corner, MVD & 223rd SW in front of All Star Sports Bar, MVD & 227th NW by Jack in the Box, and 227th at the SW corner of the South Marina Park.

While the city is loaned the artwork, the Des Moines Arts Commission needs to raise money to help pay for the stands on which the art will be placed. Each costs $3,000. The commission is seeking grants, donations from local businesses, and also asks the public to help. To donate, visit, then in the search window type "Des Moines, Wa." and the fundraising site will appear.

Facilitating the project is Patrice Thorell, with the Des Moines Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Department. Heading the project is Nancy Stephan, former two-term Arts Commission chair. She served out her terms, and has volunteered to organize "ART on POVERTY BAY", assisted by Arts Commission Boardmember Kristy Dunn.

Thorell is enthusiastic with the outdoor effort.

"It's going to create a beautiful addition to the Des Moines Marina District, and the pieces will be accessible in our walkable downtown area," she said. "They will draw attention to entry points that connect the marina with the downtown. The arts creates livability in the community."

Artists chosen are Gretchen Daiber of Leavenworth, with her bronze harbor seal on granite, Lin Rebolini McJunkin of Conway, with her "Shorebirds" of fused glass and steel, Leo E. Osborne of Anacortes, with his bronze cormorant, and George Scott of Des Moines, with his designed, but yet to be built, cast glass disc with tied pool theme on a column. See more of his work at

A fifth sculpture will be created by students from the welding class at Puget Sound Skills Center in Burien. It will have a nautical theme.

Jurors were Des Moines attorney & project sponsor David Gehrke, Eileen O'Neal, a former Arts Commissioner, noted Northwest artist Phillip Levine of Burien, Joe Dusenbury, Harbormaster at the Des Moines Marina, and Des Moines architect Jack Kniskern.

The Rotary Club is also a sponsor.

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