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Yarn magic: Hats and scarves add personality to outdoor artwork

By on January 28, 2019 in Arts with 0 Comments
Kate Walker wraps red and white striped ribbon around Guppo the Clown’s cane.
Captain Griggs — who is on his way to the waterfront where a river boat business once thrived, sports a bright scarf on a cold winter day.
Crouching Man gets a hat.
Ped gets an anklet.
Coyote Reading a Candy Wrapper is warmed by a scarf.

By Lisa Robinson 

with Kate Walker

I’ve always wanted us — Wenatchee — to embrace our Art on the Avenue sculptures like the one by Seattle’s sculptor Richard Beyer’s best-known and best-dressed public artwork, Waiting for the Interurban, which wears daffodils on early spring days and wool scarves in winter. 

So, I texted my new friend Kate Walker: “Do you want to do something a bit crazy?” She answered: “Maybe?” 

I posed my idea and the next thing you know we were at Sculpture Park, clad in black, carrying a Santa-like sack full of hats and scarves seeking out the wonderful sculptures in downtown Wenatchee. 

We began the adventure by putting matching hats on the trio of women titled To Life. The monkey sculpture, Rock’n Roll on a Skateboard, couldn’t wear a hat so we gave it a scarf. 

We didn’t think of bringing a ladder, so no scarf for the whale, but we adorned all the other water-themed sculptures: octopus, turtle and whale, with blue and white tinsel garlands. The big foot titled Ped received an anklet. 

We added some branches to the horse sculpture Resurrection in emulating Max, the Grinch’s dog in the cartoon How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Heading north along the Apple Capital Loop Trail, we warmed the boy with a plane titled Wings, and the Captain Griggs sculpture (an early Wenatchee pioneer who started a river boat business on the Columbia River back in the late 1800s), with scarves. 

So far, some people had looked at us, but had not really said much. 

But, as we headed back to the Sculpture Garden, we began to receive positive compliments from folks on the Loop trail. “Great idea!” and “Thanks for doing this!” This feedback encouraged us to forge on up towards the museum. 

We gave Coyote Reading a Candy Wrapper outside the museum a scarf, the Crouching Man a hat (actually, two hats since one was taken by the time we walked back through). 

Walking around town, we had some more great interactions with people. 

As we were wrapping Guppo the Clown’s cane with red and white striped ribbon, a tall, lanky man came up to tell us what a great man Paul Pugh a.k.a. “Guppo” was, the founder of the Wenatchee Youth Circus. The man’s son had once participated in this circus and he was thrilled we were bringing Guppo to light.

At the Convention Center, we wrapped a scarf around the The Great Blue Heron to keep its long neck warm. 

A woman, who was contemplatively sitting in the plaza, approached us and said we had made her week. 

She was a homeless woman who apparently owns a dog that is more well-known around town than she. “The bus drivers always called Sheba by her name, but I don’t think they know mine.” Anginia was her name. Her stories touched our hearts. 

The sculptures seemed to take on a new personality and come to life. If people hadn’t noticed them before, perhaps they do now. 

Lisa Robinson is a docent at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center, a Wenatchee Naturalist, WSU grad and graphic designer and traveler born and raised in the Wenatchee Valley.  

Kate Walker recently moved here from Idaho. Her background is in arts and natural resource management. 

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