Journal of the San Juan Islands


A fluke? Indeed, whale tail sculpture purchased by town for public art

January 9, 2013 · Updated 5:05 PM

A polished aluminum sculpture by San Juan Island artist Micajah Bienvenu entitled 'Fluke', and purchased as public art by the Town of Friday Harbor, will be installed at the corner of A and First streets. It displayed at Roche Harbor Resort in 2012. / Website: ArtParks International

A sculpture by local artist Micajah Bienvenu and purchased by the Town of Friday Harbor will be installed Thursday, at 9 a.m., at the corner A and First streets, near the ferry landing in Friday Harbor.

Entitled "Fluke", the sculpture, a polished aluminum representation of a whale tail, has been on display at Roche Harbor Resort over the last year. It will permanently installed atop the rock outcropping on the southwest corner of A and First streets well-traveled intersection.

Donations from 31 different local residents and business, totaling $25,000, enabled the town to purchase and to pay for installation of the sculpture. San Juan Island's Lori Stokes spearheaded the fundraising effort.

"I can't thank Lori enough for her efforts on behalf of the town," Mayor Carrie Lacher said. "She and other contributors have provided us with a world-class statue that celebrates the natural assets we enjoy on San Juan Island. I want to thank everyone involved with this wonderful gift to our community."

Although Bienvenu received offers from other communities, he opted to sell it to the town at to the town, reportedly at a discounted price, to ensure it would remain in his hometown. Weighing, 180 pounds, the 4-foot tall sculpture is 12 feet wide and eight feet in depth. Bienvenu, who works out of a shop at his home on Mount Dallas, also created the sculpture, entitled "Dancing Fool", that stands outside the entrance of San Juan Community Theatre.

Following its installation, the town will conduct an official ribbon-cutting  ceremony for the sculpture, at which time work of art will be formally dedicated. The ceremony is expected to take place sometime in mid to late January.



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