NEW PUBLIC ART DONATION ACCEPTED BY CITY
“Courting Pigeon Guillemots,” a bronze sculpture commissioned to honor Eleanor Stopps’ tireless work to save Protection Island for nesting seabirds, will be dedicated in front of the Northwest Maritime Center, 411 Water St., Thursday, August 14, 2 pm. The public event will be hosted by the Port Townsend Arts Commission, which accepted the donated piece on behalf of the City.
Sculptor, writer and environmental educator Tony Angell will speak.
Two Port Townsend women spent over two years raising money to commission and purchase the sculpture of Eleanor’s favorite seabirds, then gave the sculpture to the City of Port Townsend.
Robin Ornelas had interviewed Eleanor for the Jefferson County Historical Society and is a member of the annual Eleanor Stopps Environmental Leadership Award Committee. Jan Halliday first met and interviewed Eleanor for a series of newspaper articles in the late 1970s when Protection Island nesting sites were being crushed under developers’ bulldozers.
Eleanor died in April, 2012, her favorite time of year, when 17,000 pairs of rhinocerous aucklets were burrowing into the sandy ground and cliff sides to lay their eggs, and seabirds, such as guillemots, cormorants, puffins, oystercatchers and gulls, were gathering sea grasses and sticks for their nests.
Over 70% of Puget Sound’s seabirds nest on 364-acre Protection Island. Because of Eleanor’s patient diligence, the island became a protected National Wildlife Refuge in 1982. Boats must remain 200-feet offshore and no one is allowed to step foot on the island except for a caretaker.
“Courting Pigeon Guillemots” was installed on city property mid-June, in front of the Maritime Center on a plinth of columnar basalt, quarried from the Columbia River. After a significant donation from Friends of the Arts, installation was paid for with funds from the Port Townsend Arts Commission’s Fund for Public Art. The plaque, affixed to the stone, was poured by the Port Townsend Foundry.
NOMINATE OUR 2014 ANGEL OF THE ARTS
The Port Townsend Arts Commission appeals to the arts community for help in identifying a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to the arts in our town.
Nomination forms are available for downloading HERE and can be picked up on the second floor of City Hall (250 Madison Street). Completed forms are accepted at City Hall until August 29.
To learn more about Public Art in Port Townsend click HERE.