Submitted by Alchemy Art Center
When Washington’s stay-at-home order went into effect last March, Alchemy Art Center got to work creating a community mosaic that islanders could participate in from home. The project, a 15-foot salmon made up of about 240 individual tiles, was intended to create a feeling of connection and collaboration during what was an incredibly difficult and isolated time for everyone. The salmon image was chosen for its key role in our Salish Sea ecosystem, and as a symbol of our interdependence.
Some 80 quarantined islanders participated in the project, working from home to create their unique pieces of the larger whole. Later that summer, as restrictions were lifted and some outdoor activities were reintroduced, Alchemy brought this same project to kids at Camp Eagle Rock and the Family Resource Center- creating nearly two more salmon! Now, one year later, that first quarantine salmon is glazed, assembled, and proudly installed on the main art building at Alchemy. And this summer, Alchemy is bringing this wonderful project to the San Juan Island Sculpture Park!
Every Sunday from June 20th to September 19th, visitors to the Park can find Alchemy Art Center Director Maria Michaelson facilitating a tile creation station. Participants will be able to create a unique clay tile to be incorporated as one of the hundreds making up what will ultimately be a freestanding, double-sided sculpture permanently installed at the park.
This project marks the first partnership between these two organizations and is supported in part by the generosity of the San Juan Island Community Foundation. Alchemy is profoundly grateful for the support of both the Sculpture Park and the Community Foundation in making it possible to bring this project to the broader public.
Alchemy Art Center, founded by Maria Michaelson and Eben Shay in 2017, is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to creating a thriving arts community on San Juan Island.