WENATCHEE — The art at the roundabout project in Olds Station is now expected to look more like a fruit tree instead of a totem pole, as previously selected.
“The concept that was chosen was always going to be refined and reviewed again with community input,” said Wenatchee Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department Director, David Erikson in an interview.
CJ Rench’s design concept, “Valley of Fruition,” for the state Department of Transportation project, was chosen out of five concepts and ultimately approved by the Wenatchee City Council.
In a email he sent to The Wenatchee World last year, Rench said he was “inspired by the Yakama-Sahaptin name ‘Wenatchi’ that translates in English to ‘Robe of the Rainbow’ or ‘Place of the Rainbow.”
“As I considered what this ‘Place of the Rainbow’ we know today as Wenatchee is, I saw all the ways the valley is a ‘Valley of Fruition.’”
He also said to describe the concept “The various shapes and cutouts in the stainless steel represent all these views and different people it takes to create a fruitful and strong community. A growing community needs all these various views to keep strong and resilient.”
Rench’s design studio is based in Hood River, Oregon. His public works sculptures are on display in Tri-Cities, Bremerton, Snoqualmie, Edmonds, Puyallup, and more cities across Washington, the Northwest, and states all across the country.
Erickson said “Valley of Fruition” will look similar to Rench’s other tree works like his “Tree of Seasons,” in Richland.
Erickson previously told The Wenatchee World the concept design “will be refined and likely won’t be the design that is actually installed, as over the next six months the design is refined and reviewed by the WSDOT and Federal Highway Administration and engineering is finalized.”
Erikson said city crews will install the display at the end of June before the roundabout opens in July.
He said the art, installation, and utility will cost the city $200,000.
Discuss the news on NABUR, a place to have local conversations The Neighborhood Alliance for Better Understanding and Respect ✔ A site just for our local community ✔ Focused on facts, not misinformation ✔ Free for everyone