Sunday, October 17, 2021
Oct. 17, 2021

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Downtown Vancouver to receive students’ functional art Friday

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A splash of red, yellow and blue is coming to a block of downtown Vancouver in the form of a new art installation made of painted steel shapes and benches.

Artists and workers will install the piece Friday at The Marketplace at 210 W. Evergreen Blvd., between Java House and Jorge’s Margarita Factory.

A group of high school students at the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics designed the sculpture during a mentorship program started by local philanthropists Susan Courtney and Dean Irvin, who own The Marketplace building. The duo wanted the students to create the artwork to reflect Bill Marshall, a former First Citizen honoree who for many years operated Vancouver’s Ford dealership from the building. Marshall recently celebrated his 100th birthday.

Vancouver’s Cultural, Arts and Heritage Commission granted $10,000 for the art piece, which includes two benches and several triangular stools.

“It is a good example of functional art because one can actually use it to sit, rest, visit with friends, enjoy the downtown vibe, people watch,” wrote Jennifer Corio, artist at Cobalt Designworks, the fabricator of the sculpture, in an email to The Columbian.

The students who helped create the sculpture include Greta DuBois, Lily Engblom-Stryker, Jane Greene, Elle Josephson, Sophia Le, Caitlin Mitchell, Aliyah Petersen, Aubree Radke, Destiny Robello, Alexis Schole, Byanca Young and Madison Ball.

The students are part of a club at the school called the Public Art Coalition, advised by teacher Jeri Swatosh. Swatosh, Corio and Dave Frei of Cobalt Designworks helped the students.

The artists will host a public celebration and unveiling of the sculpture at 5 p.m. Friday as part of the First Friday celebration in downtown Vancouver.