The city of Blaine recently approved contracts with two artists to complete artwork for the city’s new Lighthouse Point Water Reclamation Facility.
In their regular meeting February 22, Blaine City Council, following the recommendation of the city’s art advisory committee, voted to award contracts to Shirley Erickson, of Bellingham, and Marta Thoma, of San Jose, California.
Erickson designed a fused glass waterfall with colored cast cement fish that will showcase the cleanliness and clarity of the reclaimed water. It features salmon of various lengths that protrude through the water flowing down the glass.
The basin of the fountain contains a tidepool using colorful three dimensional cast glass and cement to form a mosaic at the bottom of the pool, as well as three-dimensional fish, shells, starfish and small crabs.
Thoma designed an oversized “Journey Of A Raindrop” suspended sculpture as the hanging entryway art feature to enhance the main entry of the building.
Thoma’s design features oversized acrylic water drops, illuminated on their exteriors with LED lighting, as well as rows of glass bottles arranged in lines and mounted onto a silver steel grid. The sculpture will be suspended over the main entrance.
Blaine community development coordinator Debbie Harger said each piece cost approximately $25,000 to be paid for out of a $60,000 budget for public art for the facility.
The remaining $10,000 will be held in a contingency fund.
Harger acknowledged some residents have expressed concern about spending $50,000 for two pieces of public art, but said the cost in relation to the size of the project is a small price to pay and will enhance the public’s experience in the park. It is also consistent with the Blaine Tourism and Marketing plan, she said.
The facility will also include a small public plaza, pedestrian bridge, covered walkways and interpretive signage to attract visitors and citizens to Marine Park.
Maquettes for both pieces are currently on display at the Loomis Hall Art Gallery, 288 Martin Street in Blaine.