Public art unveiled in Washougal

This information was provided by the city of Washougal.

WASHOUGAL — The community of Washougal is welcoming its latest piece of public art, “Golden Back Heron,” created by Portland metal artist Tom Jackson.

Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance will host a dedication ceremony on Sat., Nov. 19, 1 p.m., near the main parking lot at Washougal City Hall, 1701 C St., Washougal.

Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance
Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance will host a dedication ceremony to welcome the latest piece of public art to the city of Washougal on Sat., Nov. 19, at 1 p.m. Photo courtesy of Rene Carroll

The three-foot-tall metal sculpture will be placed in the city hall rain garden.

“We feel the heron has special significance to Washougal and this spot,” said Janice Ferguson, WACA president. “The rain garden was created by the city as a part of their stormwater management, which has a role in protecting the wildlife at nearby Steigerwald Natural Wildlife Refuge where herons flourish.”

According to Ferguson, the rain garden project was created three years ago through the city Parks Department with design help from the Clark County Watershed Stewards program.

“The heron (was also) created with recycled metals,” Ferguson said. “A win-win for the environment.”

Proceeds from the successful WACA sponsored Washougal Art Festival in August 2016 raised the funds for the heron.

“We were beyond excited with the success of the art festival this summer,” Ferguson said. “It was wonderful to support artists with a venue to display and sell their work and introduce them to our community. The fact that we raised enough money to bring more public art to Washougal was icing on the cake.”

Jackson was a participating artist at the Washougal event and “Golden Back Heron” caught the eye of the WACA members.

Jackson enjoys combining his love of metal and nature into unique metal artwork. He started his career working as an auto and equipment mechanic. He then began to combine his knowledge of manufacturing technology and fabrication to create his art.

He also incorporates the use of technology in his pieces. He creates computer-aided designs that are cut from metal and then artistically formed, shaped and colored to create each unique piece. His belief in using many types of equipment available from old-school to automated design and cutting allows him to produce extremely detailed and precise handmade art. Jackson’s work is usually colored in primary forms consisting of heat treating and application of natural metal colors.

For more information about WACA and their efforts to bring public art to Washougal, visit their website.

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