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Public mural portrays 100 years of commercial fishing in the San Juan Islands

One of 14 scenes that portray a 100-year history of commercial fishing in the San Juan Islands. The scenes will be placed on the side of the Ace Hardware building.  - Art by Annie Howell Adams / Photo by Rikki Swin
One of 14 scenes that portray a 100-year history of commercial fishing in the San Juan Islands. The scenes will be placed on the side of the Ace Hardware building.
— image credit: Art by Annie Howell Adams / Photo by Rikki Swin

Fine arts painter and former commercial fisherwoman Annie Howell-Adams will unveil a monumental mural portraying 100 years of commercial salmon fishing in the San Juan Islands on Sept. 12, 2 p.m.

Howell-Adams was scheduled to begin hanging the mural Wednesday on the north side of the Ace Hardware building at 195 Nichols St. A dedication and celebration will follow the unveiling Sept. 12.

The project was approved by the Friday Harbor Town Council and also had the support of the Friday Harbor Port Commission. The project was realized by Danmoor LLC, which made its building available and privately funded the mural.

The public arts project gained momentum as the community became involved: Fishing families contributed historic glass-plate negatives, hand-colored photos and scrapbooks for the artist to consider in painting the mural. Howell-Adams said she sees this process as the best in a community arts project, a way for Friday Harbor to tell and share its fishing story.

The artist has given visual expression to important local history, showing the pride Friday Harbor has with its long connection to salmon fishing. The mural — 12 feet by 60 feet — is painted on a series of aluminum panels. Each panel tells its own story, collectively portraying the island’s fishing heritage.

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