New sculpture celebrates tulips in Mount Vernon

Elmyra Zehner and Kristi Nelson walk past the new art installation "Tulip Dance" on the Mount Vernon River Walk on Friday, March 27, in Mount Vernon. Brandy Shreve / Skagit Valley Herald

MOUNT VERNON — Skagit County is well-known for its tulips, but now the city of Mount Vernon has its own proud display — in the form of a 14-foot tall metal sculpture of tulips — downtown at Skagit Riverwalk Park.

The sculpture, titled “Tulip Dance” and installed this week, was designed and built by local artists and husband and wife team David Feri and Jennifer Corio. The piece is made from aluminum and steel with a powdercoat finish to give the tulip petals their striking color, Corio said.

Tulip Dance was donated to the city by the local Blackburn family, who also donated “Bumbershoot,” the umbrella sculpture in Burlington, said Mount Vernon Mayor Jill Boudreau.

“We’re so appreciative to be able to bring it to the community. It’s a great addition to public art in the area,” said Linda Brookings, recreation supervisor for the Mount Vernon Parks and Recreation Department. Brookings is also a representative on the Arts Commission.

Corio said she and Feri work together to create their work. Corio designs and conceptualizes pieces, while her husband engineers and builds them, she said.

The pair spent several months on the sculpture, working mostly on weekends to bend and form the tall stems and colorful petals.

The artists eventually presented the design in three different color palettes to the Mount Vernon Arts Commission, who chose the piece’s final color scheme of red, orange and yellow, Corio said.

The work was installed by city employees with the help and direction of the artists, Brookings said.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with it,” Corio said. “It’s one of my favorites we’ve ever done, and it’s by far the biggest, most complex piece we’ve ever done.”

The city is excited to have the piece, and people are already stopping to admire it and take photos, Boudreau said.

— Reporter Shannen Kuest, 360-416-2145,, Twitter: Shannen_SVH,

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