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Public Art

As you explore Issaquah, you’ll encounter numerous examples of public art, sculpture, murals and exhibits. We’ve gathered listings for many of these cultural markers in the following page, including names of artists and the location where each work can be viewed.

Public Art photos courtesy of LeRoy LaCelle photography.

“100 Years of Recreation in Issaquah” – Photography

Artist: Photos courtesy of the Issaquah Historical Society
Location: Issaquah Community Center, second floor wall alongside running track
Dedicated: The display began in December of 1999 and the collection was completed in 2001.

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100 Years of Recreation in Issaquah” – Photography

Artist: Photos courtesy of the Issaquah Historical Society

Location: Issaquah Community Center, second floor wall alongside running track.

Dedicated: The display began in December of 1999 and the collection was completed in 2001.

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“A Century of Dairying in Issaquah” – Mural

Artists: Larry Kangas, Nichole Parsons, and Evan Jones
Location: Front Street on Issaquah Creamery Darigold plant wall
Dedicated: 1995

Century of Dairying mural in Issaquah

Description: The dairy’s large wall was painted with the mural to commemorate “A Century of Dairying in Issaquah.” The mural prominently depicts the creamery as it originally appeared and the Pickering family’s dairy barn and farm.

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“A Century of Dairying in Issaquah” – Mural

Artists: Larry Kangas, Nichole Parsons, and Evan Jones
Location: Front Street on Issaquah Creamery Darigold plant wall
Dedicated: 1995

A Century of Dairying mural in Issaquah

Description: The dairy’s large wall was painted with the mural to commemorate “A Century of Dairying in Issaquah.” The mural prominently depicts the creamery as it originally appeared and the Pickering family’s dairy barn and farm.

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“And Mithra Danced" – Sculpture

Artist: James Kelsey
Location: Cornick Park

"and mithra danced" sculpture in Issaquah

Description: Material is stainless steel and bronze. The Artist chose the title of the work because it was completed on the winter solstice. In Mesopotamian Mythology Mithra was the sun god and was reborn on the first day of winter each year. Kelsey prefers to work in abstract forms because they have the ability to create images and stories that are unique to each individual viewer. Mr. Kelsey’s studio is located in Port Orchard, Washington.

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“Copper Clad" – Sculpture

Artist: Jason Dillon
Location: Front Street near the Hailstone Feed Store.

Copperclad sculpture in Issaquah

Description: The life-sized horse stands approximately seven feet tall, weighs one ton and is made entirely of old metal parts. Artist Jason Dillon lives in Redmond and is a 2002 graduate of Eastlake High School.

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“Forest Carvings” – Carving

Artist: Steve Jensen
Location: In the grassy area at the intersection of East Sunset Way and Rainier Ave S.
Installed: August 17, 2009

Description: The sculpture, which is comprised of three carved cedar poles, pays homage to the naturally felled wood. The artist, who comes from a long tradition of Norwegian fisherman and boat builders, uses chisels that were passed down from his grandfather. The craftsmanship of the work speaks to the universality and timelessness of carving. The sculpture will be on loan from the artist from summer 2009 – summer 2010.

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“Issaquah Community” – Quilt

Artists: The Issaquah Quilters
Location: The front lobby of the Community Center at 301 Rainier Blvd. South

Description: Taking more than two years to complete, this brightly colored quilt depicts prominent elements of the town, including the Depot, State Salmon Hatchery, Issaquah Creek, the Village Theatre, and the Darigold Creamery.

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“Issaquah History” – Mural

Artist: Bill Haddon
Location: Meeting Room (previously Public Library) 120 E. Sunset Way
Originally installed in the Trolley Barn
Dedicated: February 11, 1976

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“Linda Ruehle” – Statue

Artist: Richard Beyer
Location: Corner of 1st Ave. SE and East Sunset Way
Dedicated: October 5, 2001

Linda Ruehle statue in Issaquah

Description: The sculpture is a life-size tribute to former City Clerk Linda Ruehle, who retired in 2001, after 30 years of service to the city and community. The artist, Richard Beyer, is best known as the creator of the beloved sculpture “Waiting for the Interurban” in Fremont.

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“Miracle Grow" – Sculpture

Artist: Leon White
Location: Entrance to Issaquah Highlands near Issaquah Highlands Fire Station.

Miracle Grow sculpture in Issaquah

Description: “Miracle Grow” consists of 4 individual powdered coated steel sculptures, ranging in height from 8 feet to 14 feet. The artist was inspired to create “Miracle Grow” by observing the plants in his garden, especially the long leaves of the Iris.

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“New Generation”

Artist: Martin Oliver
Location: Council Chambers of City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way
Dedicated: May 14, 1990

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“Pinnacle" – Sculpture

Artist: Brandon Zebold
Location: Near Rainier Blvd. and Bush St.

Description: The material is flame cut, painted steel. The artist has had a passion for drawing since childhood –and, of all the media he explored, he feels steel offers the most exciting range of shapes and surfaces on which to draw. In an effort to capture the organic free associative tapestry of his drawings, he began cutting them into and out of rugged, yet yielding, steel. The process of rendering the steel drawings became a natural springboard into sculpture.

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“Reaching Home” – Sculpture

Artist: Thomas E. Jay
Location: Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, 125 W. Sunset Way
Dedicated: September 13, 1996

Reaching Home sculpture in Issaquah

Description: The bronze and cement, eight-foot-by-two-foot male Coho salmon named Finley is accompanied by a seven-foot long, bronze female Coho salmon named Gilda. The statues serve as artwork, an educational display and a donation receptacle for Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (F.I.S.H.).

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“River Run" – Sculpture

Artist: Craig Breitbach
Location: Near the Trails House on Rainier Boulevard.

River Run sculpture in Issaquah

Description: Material: basalt. Fall City artist Craig Breitbach was born and raised in Port Angeles, Washington. His sculptures are generally realistic images of salmon, combining his love of art with his passion for fishing and nature. He works in many different stone types, but prefers basalt for larger pieces because of its contrast in textures.

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“Shadowmaker” – Sculpture

Artist: Michael Sweeney
Location: Central Park, Issaquah Highlands

Shadowmaker sculpture in Issaquah

Description: This kinetic sculpture is installed on the traffic island within Central Park, establishing a focal point for the park, which is visible from the entrance. As the viewer approaches the sculpture, the rectangular opening of the piece provides a framed vista drawing the eye through the sculpture to the view beyond. The sculpture is fabricated from quarter-inch steel plates and measures 9’ high 9’ wide x 18” deep. The base is designed in a circular format that bolts to an industrial-sized bearing system that functions as a “lazy Susan.”

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“The Blue Door"

Location: City Hall.
Artist: A gift of Issaquah’s sister city Chefchaouen, Morroco.
Dedicated: 2008

The Blue Door sculpture in Issaquah

Description: The door is designed to look like doors built 200 years ago in northern Morocco and symbolizes the friendship and hospitality between the two cities. The structure that supports and surrounds the door is approximately 11 feet tall and 9 feet wide and was constructed on the site to house the blue door.

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“The Dig” – Sculpture

Artist: Brian Goldbloom
Location: Centennial Park at Front and Dogwood Streets along the railroad track
Dedicated: August 19, 1993

The Dig sculpture in Issaquah

Description: “The Dig” was the first outdoor sculpture commissioned by the City of Issaquah. The model was chosen by the Issaquah Arts Commission to commemorate the centennial of the city’s incorporation as Gilman in 1892. The main piece of the sculpture resembles the entrance to a mine and is carved out of 15,000 pounds of gray granite taken from the Cascade Mountains. Symbolic imagery is carved into the stone, including a mine portal, salmon, railroad track, bits of riveted locomotive boilers and a railroad spike.

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“The Mill Street Logging Scene” – Mural

Artist: Larry Kangas
Location: On Sunset Way just east of Front Street
Dedicated: 1998

Description: This mural depicts the Issaquah logging industry from 1900-1940. At this time, old growth cedar and fir logs were being cut from the hills surrounding Issaquah and milled in the town’s many lumber mills. Prior to 1960, Sunset Way was known as Mill Street, referring to the mills that were located on either end of the street when the town was incorporated in 1892.

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“The Pillars” – Sculpture

Artist: Will Robinson
Location: Near the historic train depot.

The Pillars sculpture in Issaquah

Description: “The Pillars” consists of individually sculptured basalt monoliths. Bainbridge Island artist, Will Robinson chooses to work primarily with stone because of its solidity and ability to withstand the elements and time. Varying textures integrate smooth and rough surfaces, creating intriguing duality in the stone. He encourages viewers to touch his work; engaging with the stone creates a connection between the medium, the artist, and the viewer.

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“The Valiant Effort” – Statue

Artist: Doug Eck
Location: In the courtyard at west end of City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way
Dedicated: October 6, 2000

Description: Issaquah artist Doug Eck created the one and a half life-sized eagle and salmon to illustrate the struggle for survival in the wild. The bronze sculpture also was designed to illustrate the Valiant Effort of the City of Issaquah’s Police force and is prominently displayed in front of city hall and the Issaquah Police facility.

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“The Watershed Tower” – Painting

Artist: Larry Kangas
Location: Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, 125 W. Sunset Way
Dedicated: 1998

Watershed Tower painting in Issaquah

Description: Larry Kangas designed this piece with suggestions from Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. The mural depicts salmon at different life stages, creatures eaten by salmon and creatures that prey on salmon.

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“The Zephyr" – Sculpture

Artist: Andrew Carson
Location: Near Bush Street and Rainier Blvd.

The Zephyr sculpture in Issaquah

Description: “The Zephyr” is a mixed metal and glass sculpture. The top is kinetic, moving with the wind and is #6 in a series of 10. The artist executes every step of the process, including design, engineering, prototyping, metal cutting, pounding and finishing as well as glass and cement casting. There are no “found parts” in Carson’s work. He designs and makes every piece, including the glass balls, the hubs and the transitions His inspiration includes a fascination with the wind machines near his childhood home and his time working in a bicycle shop, fiddling with gears and learning to weld.

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“Tibbetts Creek Manor” – Photography Collection

Artists: Mike Cambern, Issaquah District 10 Fireman; Adam Hosey, Costco employee Bob Rock, resident of Mt. Vernon, WA
Location: Tibbetts Creek Manor, 750 17th Avenue Northwest
Dedicated: Artwork displayed since April 1999

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Rainier Trail Park

Location: Front Street and Dogwood Street to Bush Street

Description: The Issaquah Arts Commission Issaquah Parks Board and Issaquah Parks & Recreation Department work together to bring new sculptures to the Rainier Trail Park. Each piece is borrowed and will remain in the city for one year.

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The Fathers of the Issaquah Valley – Sculpture

Artist: Boris Spivak
Location: In front of the Hilton Garden Inn at Hyla Crossing
Dedicated: 2001

Description: “Fathers of the Issaquah Valley” is a sculpture celebrating the connection between history, families and land while honoring the shift from an agriicultural area to what is now known as the suburban city we call Issaquah. Issaquah developer and long time citizen George “Skip” Rowley Jr. commissioned this sculpture to honor his father, Issaquah developer George Rowley Sr., (seated left) and Issaquah residents Henry Bergsma (seated right) and his son Bill Bergsma Sr. (standing). Henry owned and operated the Issaquah Valley Dairy from 1930 to 1962. His son, Bill, was the town milkman. When the dairy farm closed in 1962, George purchased the land and began slowly transforming it to serve the community in new ways. Today, the Hyla Crossing development stands on the site of the former farm. Drawing the three men together, the bench represents the land while the three men symbolize the past, present and future. Henry sits passively as his agricultural era draws to a close. Bill, standing in the middle, is engaged with the community and observing the continued changes while George ponders visions for the future of a sustainable and economically vital community.

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