MOUNT VERNON — With the recent installation of a sculpture at Kiwanis Park, the city of Mount Vernon is again displaying art in a public space while showing off the talents of local artists.
The Butterfly, installed in April, joins three other sculptures created by Skagit Valley College’s Weld Club and displayed throughout the city.
“I would describe it as a predator,” Mary Kuebelbeck, welding instructor and club adviser, said of the butterfly sculpture. “This thing could do some damage.”
This sculpture, made of steel and colored plexiglass, weighs about 1,600 pounds and has a 10-foot wingspan, she said.
She and students Beau Blank, Nicholas Blodgett, Eddie Feliciano, Buddy Grett and Kuris Krumins spent at least 40 hours each on the project, with the remaining club members also contributing.
The sculpture was commissioned by the Mount Vernon Arts Commission, a board that uses city funding to sponsor public art.
“The experience of the build is amazing,” Kuebelbeck said. “These students are experiencing things they never could otherwise.”
Kathleen Roche-Zujko, commission member, said the club is already at work on its next sculpture for the city.
“The design, it almost looks like a stained glass window,” she said.
Kuebelbeck said the club’s next design will also be made of steel and plexiglass, but resembles a stained glass window that depicts a landscape inspired by the area.
“The scene is kind of a Mount Vernon scene,” she said. “We have a mountain, a stream, a setting sun.”
Bill King, director of the city’s Parks and Enrichment Services Department, said the city has yet to decide where this new sculpture will go.
By funding their work and displaying it publicly, Kuebelbeck said the commission fosters a feeling of belonging and pride in her students.
“I always hear students saying ‘I can’t wait to show my kids my work (someday),’” she said.