Puyallup’s collection of permanent art contains works that have been purchased and donated to the city by Arts Downtown or individuals. Artworks that have received the “Community Favorite” designation in the past are marked with the year the award was given.
Made of Basalt
Sabah Al-Dhaher was born in Nasiriyah, Iraq. His interest in art began as a young boy, when he was working in his father’s bakery. A friend in their neighborhood heard that he was interested in drawing and gave him a book about art. In those pages he first saw and was fascinated by the work of Michelangelo. Then the friend gave him a copy of The Odyssey. The influence of those two volumes is still visible in his work today. At the age of fifteen he was accepted to the Institute of Fine Arts in Basra, Iraq, where he lived and received his training in classical art.
Mr. Al-Dhaher fled Iraq in 1991, in the turmoil following the first Gulf war. He was admitted to the US as a political refugee, quickly became settled in the Seattle area and proceeded to produce an extensive body of paintings and sculptures, and an impressive list of exhibits and installations. He teaches at the Pratt Fine Art Center in Seattle as well as presenting programs at art workshops and symposia.
“Beautiful Night” was inspired by the stone itself –- not only local stone, but exceptionally high quality, very dark, with a luxurious sheen when polished. Mr. Al-Dhaher saw not only the darkness of night, but the “music” in the word “night”, suggesting Femininity, and the form thus emerging from and in darkness.
A Legacy Gift to the City of Puyallup from Babbette Kunkle and Family.
Made of Bronze
Mr. Osborne was born and raised in Massachusetts, spending his early years at his grandmother’s farm and in the family home on the shore of Big Sandy Pond. Years spent in intimate contact with woodlands and wildlife instilled in him a lifelong fascination with the “wild” side of life and the world of nature and spirit. His art education began in high school, when he won a home schooling course from the Art Instruction School of Minneapolis, and continued with training at the New England School of Art in Boston. Early employment painting signs morphed into carving signs, which evolved into carving birds as art, with showings throughout North America, and winning numerous prestigious awards. In 1990, he moved to the Pacific Northwest, where he advanced his interest in bronze sculpture, eventually opening “Milkwood Studio” in the San Juan Islands.
Mr.Osborne is actually a multi-faceted artist, working as a sculptor, painter, and poet. In his words: “To let it all flow through me…the mind and spirit goes and the tool walks alone, I become the simple vehicle within which the creative source conveys its sacred, inner being. To be in the constant flow and rhythm of the dance is my true ambition and desire."
"Flower of life
Flower of peace
Bloom in my Mind
Open in my heart"
A Legacy Gift to the City of Puyallup from Jerry and Germaine Korum and the Korum for Kids Foundation.
"Art gives me a freedom to express my feelings and possibly have someone look at my sculpture and feel the same way. I want a kid/adult to look at my sculpture say wow and smile, and make them realize art can be anything you want it to be. My sculpture is always changing due to the weather in my opinion showing age can really affect a piece. I chose a 3D sculpture so the viewer can see all around it like they would a normal tree in the forest."
Made of Cast Bronze
Jeff Oens is a professional sculptor whose bronze artworks – including life-size and monumental pieces - are exhibited in prominent art collections across the USA. Mr. Oens’ interest and passion for wildlife stems from his childhood in Montana, where his family's Western lifestyle revolved around animals and nature. He began at an early age to create original artwork with wildlife and western themes that revealed his natural talent. Mr. Oens is a self-taught artist, having honed his skills through many years’ work as a taxidermist, as well as his own wildlife observation.
In addition to his accomplishments as an original artist, Mr. Oens serves as Conservator of the outstanding sculpture collection of the A. Phimister Proctor Museum near Hansville, WA.
Big Leg Momma
Leslie Ariel works primarily in clay and concrete. Her forms derive from a classically modern abstraction of the figure as well as her particular interpretation of naturally occurring forms. She strives to make pieces that can be read simultaneously on several levels.
A Montana native, Leslie now calls Portland, Oregon her home. She has evolved her distinctively organic style over the course of more than 10 years, working mostly in ceramic. Over this time, her pieces have steadily grown in size and sophistication, and she has turned to concrete to accommodate their ever increasing size. Big Leg Mama, a concrete seated figure owned by the city of Puyallup, WA, is her largest work to date and stands at just over 8 feet tall.
Catch of the Day
On the surface, Dan Klennert's found-object sculptures are remarkable for their scale and their realism. Looking deeper his patchwork skeletons become a lasting testament to the craftsmanship of artisans who made the original objects Klennert incorporates into his art.
As with the majority of my works, the shapes of the materials at hand inspire the pieces. Eroded Sphere was originally inspired by a pile of rebar rings. Turning the rings into a sphere seemed like the most natural thing to do. Whether you're looking through the Hubble telescope or an electron microscope, you can't excape the fact that spheres dominate our universe. We are built of spheres, as is everything we see touch and feel. In the time it takes to read this statement millions of them will have been pulled from this piece in their quest to rejoin the collective that we call earth.
Made of Cast Bronze on stainless steel with steel base
A sculptor for over thirty-two years, Kevin Pettelle has devoted himself to the exploration and interpretation of the human figure. With its tactile warmth, historic durability and a remarkable ability to accent form, bronze has proven the perfect medium of choice to express himself.
MOTHERHOOD ON PILLOW
Made of Cast Bronze
More than a sculptor, Mr. Kogan is a painter, a digital artist, portraitist and monument maker. Born and educated in Russia, he now lives and works in Washington State, but his work can be seen throughout the world. A considerable amount of his time is spent teaching art, both locally and internationally.
Mr. Kogan emphasizes the rigor required to create art, from knowing the history, tools and techniques, to understanding the artist’s place and purpose in society. Beyond knowledge, Mr. Kogan believes the artist must achieve a state of “honed but empty readiness” to allow creativity to find expression in a work, and “If it does, it will be powerful, it will touch, and it will have life. It will then be worthy of the term “art”.
Regarding “Motherhood on a Pillow”, Mr. Kogan states: “The tenderness of motherhood...how do you translate that into the form? Soft but firm care of the mother becomes light surrounding the sculpture. Continuously changing contour takes you around the sculpture to experience unexpected views.
Take your time,
you will recognize the feeling.
GIVING THANKS TO THE SPIRIT OF RECYCLING
Made of Recycled Metal
Dan Klennert says, "I got started in this career when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I was living in Seattle, and I'd take my red wagon and search through neighborhood junk piles. I found great stuff that way and fell in love with 'scrounging', or as we now know it, recycling. "In school, I went to class mostly for art on Friday. I just loved it." As an adult, he has used his mechanical and welding skills to take what society once used and then discarded as junk, and instilled it with dignity and new meaning.
Regarding his artistic vision, he says: "My love is preserving older pieces of metal that contain some history and were made by the hands of man. There is nothing like the natural high you get creating something out of your imagination using discarded items.”
About “Giving Thanks to the Spirit of Recycling” Mr. Klennert says: I spent some time in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I tap into the native spiritual energy that lives there. I do not do drugs, but I have channeled native spirits in my life, and that is what gave me the inspiration for the “Spirit of Recycling”.
Made of Cast Bronze
A native of Iraq, Mr Al-Dhaher studied classical art at the Institute of Fine Arts in Basra. He fled Iraq in 1991, spent 2 ½ years in a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia, arrived in the US as a political refugee, and settled in Seattle. His work consists of stone sculptures, paintings, and drawings, and may be found in both public and private collections throughout the Northwest. He teaches at the Pratt Fine Art Center in Seattle.
Possibly as a response to his turbulent younger days, Mr. Al-Dhaher says: “Art is a thread that has sustained my spirit from childhood and through my intense struggle to survive during my life in Iraq. Art is a place of expression and meditation.”
“Beginning” was originally carved in marble and later cast in bronze. It was inspired by Mr. Al-Dhaher’s son, who was born about 3 ½ months premature.
My work reflects the landscape and environment which I love, the mountains where I live, the many years that I spent at sea with my husband as a commercial fisherman and the places I work and travel. Trained as a printmaker and graphic designer then later a a sculptor, my passion is to record and interpret my surroundings with sculpture, pastels, original prints, journal sketches and watercolors.
OLD MAN CATCHING BIRDS IN HIS BEARD
Made of Cast Aluminum
The late Richard S. Beyer was a fascinating individual, born in Washington DC, but eventually finding his way to the “other” Washington, settling in Seattle. He held degrees in Social Science, Education and Finance, but after working for many employers in various fields, found his true calling as an artist.
Between 1968 and 2006, Mr. Beyer produced over 90 large sculptures for public spaces in cities Throughout the Pacific Northwest, but also in Georgia, California, Virginia, Minnesota, Arkansas, Iowa and the City of Tashkent in Uzbekistan (a Seattle “Sister City”).
Mr. Beyer was a philosopher as well as artist, stating that “Art is seeing common things transformed by love, and the best public art belongs to the story of a community.” He celebrated the Common Man in his figurative sculptures that reflected on the human condition with gentle humor. “Waiting for the Interurban” in Seattle is the first and probably most well-known of his large public sculptures, and a fine example of his approach.
“Old Man Catching Birds in His Beard” was purchased for Puyallup’s permanent gallery after being named People’s Choice” in 1999.
Made of Cast Bronze on stainless steel with steel base
Kevin Pettelle was raised in an artistic household with both his father and older sister being artists. He began sculpting the figure and working in bronze in 1980 with no formal training. His work has been exhibited throughout the US, and appears in private collections internationally. Over the years, three of his works have received Arts Downtown’s People’s Choice award.
About his work, Mr. Pettelle says: “Working with many mediums keeps the creative spark going. I find that working on several projects at once allows me to give each piece a resting period, so I can study and contemplate progress. Most of my works are representational, whether portraying a landscape, animal, or plant. I try to create movement, a flow in design, or an emotion.”
“Salutation” explores the expanding being, freedom, and the celebration of life. She received the Arts Downtown People’s Choice Award in 2006.”
Made of Cast Bronze
The choice of name for this work will probably seem mysterious to anyone who is not a long-time fan of Grand Prix motor racing. This sculpture is actually a portrait of Phil Hill, the first American ever to win the Grand Prix, in 1961. Artist Larry Perkins explains: “Phil was a motor racing contemporary, competitor and acquaintance of mine, and much admired for his skills and demeanor. This piece attempts to portray the intensity and focus of a race driver “at work”, while offering a virtual suggestion of his car. Its namesake is the left-hand curve on the Monaco race track beside the famous Monte Carlo Casino.”
Mr. Perkins, who has been an active professional sculptor and teacher for 20 years, specializes in figurative bronze works, focusing on people, wildlife, and automobiles, but has recently begun creating non-objective works as well. His intent is to intellectually stimulate viewers without indulging in ethical or social controversy.
Made of Stainless steel
We begin our tour with an exotic landscape by metal sculptor Jim Mattern A series of flat planes creates a great deal of apparent depth in a sculpture that provides a vision of the wide Serengeti plains in Kenya and Tanzania, one of the most important ecosystems for birds and wildlife in the world. The foreground focal point is an image of the iconic Acacia tree, symbol of the African savanna.
Made of Powder Coated Steel
Alisa Looney is a sculptor, enamelist, dancer and designer who grew up along the banks of the Spokane River in northern Idaho. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Boise State University in 1983, but has been a professional designer and fine artist since 1981. She fell in love with metal arts as a silversmith in her early years, and began welding in 1998. Her public sculptures have won People’s Choice Purchase Awards in Oregon and Washington, and the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, WA selected one of her works as the feature sculpture on the plaza of their Stevenson wing in 2012. She is a member of several professional artist organizations, and is the owner of Vision Design in Portland, Oregon.
About her art, Ms. Looney says: “It is my highest goal to create sculpture that brings empowerment, joy and connection to people who experience it. I shape and fabricate metal into open, energetic human form, representing movement and the expression of life. I draw from years of experimental dance and movement, the place where I find my greatest moments of free expression. I capture this movement in gesture drawings and paintings, then design and fabricate these forms in metal, finishing with bright colors to add a sense of aliveness. I enjoy working with the pliability and strength of metal, cutting and shaping it into permanent forms that will last through time.”
‘Heart Connection’ portrays the energy between two people, deeply connecting with each other. The spiraling shapes come together to form the shape of a heart, indicating two spirits dancing, merging, yet each person remains separate as an individual. Crimson red denotes the deepest love.
Jennifer Corio & David Frei
Made of Stainless Steel with powder coat
Jennifer Corio and David Frei are a married couple who together they create a dynamic balance of art, design, and workmanship.
Jennifer Corio took the artistic path only after years of working in engineering and business. Feeling a pent-up creative urge, she left corporate life in 2001 to enable her lifelong fascination with art and beauty, and express her need to create. After taking several welded sculpture classes, she was hooked, and has been creating personal and public works of art ever since.
David Frei has always been a craftsman, honing his metal fabrication skills at a young age by tooling on cars — customizing old ones, building dragsters for his racing habit, and trailers to haul them on. Even after landing a corporate job as a mechanical engineer, he continued to be the go-to-guy amongst his circle of friends for anything metal.
About “Rise” Ms. Corio says: “This winged woman with her angelic presence is floating upwards, rising to meet the potential that lies within. While her open heart exposes her vulnerability and the chink on her lower body hints at imperfection, these marks of humanness provide a roadmap to a life of complete fulfillment. The color red signifies passion and flow of blood, for while she is angelic in presence, she is very human in nature.”
Made of Steel Plate
Bruce Holmes is a native Iowan and art graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, although he has been a Washington resident for the past 43 years. Like many of his fellow metal sculptors, he spent some years in industry, gaining technical skills that he employs in the construction of custom molds and hydraulic presses for forming the metal used in his sculptures.
Mr. Holmes finds great personal satisfaction in seeing each piece of his work come together and ready to be shared.
“The Run” is an attempt to take a hard material (in this case, ¾” steel) and make it into a smooth, fluid, softer appearing object. Mr. Holmes built a 50-ton hydraulic press to create the smooth curve in this piece. Due to the thickness of the steel, each fish weighs about 150 lbs., leading the artist to refer to it as “Art by the Pound”.
My sculptures often interpret a bird or a group of birds in two ways; as a specific biological subject and as a metaphor.
The support form or sculptural "environment" for a bird is important because it creates a dialogue with the subject and helps bring my metaphors to light.
SHE WAS TALL, HE WAS SHORT, THEY WERE IN LOVE
David L. Erue
Made of Steel Pipe
David Erue’s first profession was a chef. He retired early from that career, but found a new calling when his brother taught him how to weld. Mr. Erue immediately saw creative opportunities opening, and in his words “was hooked”. His philosophy is that art should be fun, and many of his pieces draw smiles from viewers. He states: “If it makes you happy, then I have done my job.”
“She was Tall, He Was Short, They Were in Love” was made from salvaged steel pipe that Mr. Erue cut at angles, then reassembled. He stood two reconstructed columns together, and seeing a certain figurative quality, assembled them as a unit, and assigned its whimsical name. This work was created for Valley Arts United “Arts in the Park” festival, and it found its permanent home here in Puyallup.
Made of Basalt and Aluminum
Douglas Granum is a multi-faceted artist from Port Orchard, WA. He is a painter and a sculptor working in glass, metal, and stone. His works populate the collections of individuals, institutions and municipalities throughout the Puget Sound region. ‘Creation” declares Mr. Granum “is my way of life. Art is a process. This means to me that to create I don’t need to know where I am going to end up The beauty of art is the constant discovery.”
Moonstone Starcrown is in the artist’s words “about the sun and the moon, the equinox and the solstices. It is about moonlight as well as sunlight.” The darkness of space and the planets that inhabit it can be imagined in the basalt column with inlaid disks of semi-precious minerals. Markers may be placed in the earth around the sculpture so that star shadows from the crown fall upon them to mark important days of the year.
Made of Cast Bronze
A native of Seattle, Lynn Swanson has found inspiration throughout her life in Washington State’s landscapes, wildlife, and people. She has channeled this inspiration into a number of creative pursuits, including (but not limited to) costume design, leather-work, sculpture, painting and, in the last few years, sheep farming and cheese making.
Ms. Swanson finds aesthetic satisfaction in making works that highlight the purity of the line, whether the beak of a penguin or the slope of a cat’s tail. She says “Conceptually, I hope to convey my own undying appreciation, love and respect for the incredible beauty found in nature, especially as it relates to animals.”
About “Unconditional” she says: “Motherhood is a great gift and challenge. Nurturing and raising children is both incredibly gratifying and frustrating work, made even more so by the complexities of human thought and behavior! I am a great and passionate observer of animal behavior, and often find myself amazed by the relative simplicity of the parent/child bond as seen in the wild. There is a universal tenderness and fierceness of parenthood that transcends species.
When creating this work, I reflected on the similarities between our respective parenting worlds while also trying to capture in time and space what is often only glimpsed in the wild, and for only a brief moment. In this parent and chick I see the tenacity of life, the will to survive, and it gives me hope for all of us."
Made of Stainless Steel and Bronze on a steel base
Kris Vermeer is a self-taught artist of remarkable skill who enjoys working with a variety of mediums, from fused glass to painting to metal sculpture. Her work appears in public and private collections in the Pacific Northwest, but can also be found in the private collections of two Nobel Prize winners and the British Attenborourgh family.
Ms. Vermeer states: “To me, art comes from the heart. It is not something that can be contained. I am at my happiest when I am creating.” Her love of ancient culture is evident in both the subject matter and the techniques she employs in creating her works.
“Feather”, she says, “is my way of honoring our native peoples, and their love and respect for the earth. The feather brings great wisdom to those who seek it.”
Louis a& Sandie Nadelson
Made of Recycled Metal
Using art as a creative outlet while maintaining two very busy careers in higher education, Louis and Sandie Nadelson continue to explore a range of art media inspired by nature, their animals, Native arts, and their sense of humor. Sandie and Louis let the combination of materials, a desire to make art attainable, and seeing beauty in many forms guide their work and passion for creating beauty and fun to share and enjoy.
Inspired by images of Orca whales as depicted by Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest, “Rising” represents the arching form of a whale leaping from the water, as well as the rising of the sun as represented by the sunburst icon in the center of the whale.
SALMON SPIRIT SPEAKS
Made of Indiana Limestone
Eugene, Oregon sculptor Mark Andrew is a master of many mediums, working in wood, stone, steel, and bronze. He acquired an acute awareness of, and appreciation for art while living in Europe as a teenager, and turned appreciation into practice as a student at the University of Oregon.
Mr. Andrew’s choice of mediums has the dual purpose of challenging his ability to learn and master diverse sculptural skills, and as he puts it, “sending a voice to the future…speaking of the images dear to me in materials proven to endure, whole or in pieces, through time”.
“Salmon Spirit Speaks”, he says: “is a reminder of our shared connection with harvesting Earth’s bounty. I chose to capture him wet from the river, with his stone weighted cord nets and heavy harvest. In mid-stride, he pauses in gratitude…hearing the voice of the Great Spirit.”
Made of Basalt
Craig Breitbach says that while he has been an artist as long as he can remember, he has been a sculptor since only 2000. He says, “I have carved in many types of stone and wood so far, but I prefer basalt for my larger outdoor pieces. Basalt is a wonderful outdoor medium because it has rough natural surfaces to contrast with the polished and highly detailed images carved into them. People are inclined (and encouraged!) to touch my sculptures.”
Mr. Breitbach’s works are for the most part realistic images of wildlife, combining his love of art with his passion for nature. In his words, “Growing up on the Olympic Peninsula, between the mountains and the ocean and amid forest and stream, the outdoors has always been an important part of my life.” Mr. Breibach has created public art that can be found in Issaquah, Fall City, Puyallup, Oregon City, and San Juan Island.
Made of Stainless Steel and Bronze
An art degree was not all Bruce Holmes needed to become a metal sculptor. A college course in welding and nine years’ experience as a welder-fabricator provided the mechanical and technical skills needed to make the patterns, presses and molds used in creating his three-dimensional sculptures. His unique approach and artistic vision have resulted in a number of his pieces being purchased by municipalities, including Redmond, Federal Way, Issaquah, Port Angeles, and Puyallup.
Mr. Holmes says: “The main reason I create art is the reward I get on a good day of work or a well-done piece. It’s like and endorphin rush.”
“Bird” is a technically challenging work, in that each piece had to have its ultimate curved dimensions calculated and laid out on a flat surface, and the amount of press bending had to be precise, so that all parts would fit exactly when assembled. It can be seen as either realism or abstraction, depending on the angle of view.
Made of Cast Bronze
Leon White is a multi-talented artist who has won awards regionally, nationally, and internationally in painting and sculpture. His artistic encouragement began at age ten as one of the winners in a national art contest. He majored in art, music, and drama at Central Washington University, and his early career included work in acting and modeling, but he turned to art full-time after study in bronze and steel sculpture at the Pratt Art Center in Seattle. His art can be found in private, corporate, municipal, and museum collections throughout the US and beyond.
Mr. White describes his artistic philosophy by saying: "The beauty of life is so precious and plentiful…I feel so alive having the gift to create ART - for my pleasure, and for others to enjoy!”
“Night Watchman” is a bronze casting of the original limestone sculpture of the same name. The natural shape of the stone inspired the artist to create his stylized owl. “Night Watchman” has won not only several local and regional awards, but three international awards, as well.
Made of Cast Bronze
Ross Matteson is a sculptor, falconer, and author whose work is influenced by bird art of ancient Egypt, Asia, and Northwest Native American cultures, but most of all by his own Northwest heritage. A graduate of the Evergreen State College, he has accumulated numerous awards for his work, which has been featured in exhibits across the US and in the United Kingdom and France. His work is also found in the collections of museums and private collectors in 16 countries.
Mr. Matteson describes his artistic approach as “relentless in experimenting with elegant materials such as bronze, stone, glass, steel, and wood, to express qualities such as grace and a spirit of life. I engage in a high level of craftsmanship and work hard to communicate what I feel is an original view. I strive to share a spiritual essence of my subject or concept.”
Falco Rusticolus, sculpted in 1993, is a slightly larger than life-size bronze interpretation of a female gyrfalcon, one of Mr. Matteson’s favorite species. His intent here is to capture the falcon's inquisitive, alert nature, but still leave no doubt as to its underlying power. “Falco Rusticolus” received a first place award in 1993 at the "Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Show" in Tacoma, Washington.
The sculpture "Home" represents our common human reed to find our place and establish roots. As a political refugee I found my home in the Pacific Northwest.
Made of Concrete and Glass Mosaic
Jennevieve Schlemmer is a fiber artist and sculptor living in Tacoma, WA. She began her career as a mural painter, while studying jewelry making, and settled on sculpture as a way to combine the intricate work of jewelry with the scale of murals. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Washington, focusing on public art and outdoor sculpture. She incorporated mosaics into her sculptures as a way to imbue them with color, texture, and longevity. Her numerous public works appear in communities throughout the Puget Sound Region and beyond.
Ms. Schlemmer’s work in sculpture was based on a desire to create long lasting pieces that could be enjoyed by as many people as possible.
"URSUS AZUL," is made of hand-cut glass mosaic applied to a concrete polar bear sculpture. It was admitted to Puyallup’s Outdoor Gallery’s permanent collection in 2009.
the human figure still holds the depth of my interest. All my lessons of great sculpture can be found there.
Made of Welded Stainless Steel Wire
Jim Johnson is a multi-talented artist who works in sculpture, painting, jewelry and ceramics. He studied art in Japan for three years with some of Japan’s leading artists, as well as at Aichi University of Fine Art. He has or has shown public art in the following cities: Keizer, Wilsonville, and Happy Valley in Oregon, Longview, Federal Way, Wenatchee, and Puyallup in Washington.
About his art, Jim says: “I try to show action and/or feeling with my work. I like curves, smooth and flowing lines.”
About this piece, he says: “I found this pose on a church bulletin and liked the curves and flow. I had bought at recycling a large amount of stainless steel wire and was looking for a project for it. A lot of the shape was determined by the shape of the wire coils, as it is tempered steel and hard to bend other than by heating.’