Final concept art for the Johnson Road/Highway 305 roundabout. Courtesy photo

Final Roundabout art OK’d by Poulsbo council

The city of Poulsbo has approved artwork for the Johnson Road/Highway 305 Roundabout after many months of negotiation with artists and the public on concepts.

The final artpiece, designed and created by local artist Elijah Burnett, will cost $120,000 and will be installed sometime in late 2022, following completion of the roundabout itself.

“Land of the Maples” is a contemporary design forged from steel using the method of blacksmithing. Framed in a spherical shape that evokes looking through a porthole at the beautiful nature surrounding Poulsbo, two indigenous people hold their paddles up in a gesture of peace on the serene Liberty Bay, while a heron tending its nest makes a home from the maple branches and leaves of this land,” Burnett said in his artist statement shared with the City Council.

This piece will stand about 14 feet high and weigh roughly 2,000 pounds and will be finished with a boiled linseed oil to protect it from nature’s elements.

The glass vine maples on the main piece will be wraught around a welcome sign that will read “Welcome to Poulsbo, land of the vine maples.” The Arts Committee is working with Suquamish artist Kate Avacano on the translation of the welcome message to Lushootseed, the language of the that tribe. Additionally, a retaining wall will feautre a mural of the mountains that is reflective of Poulsbo’s view of the Olympics on sunny days, with a section of that wall to include traditional Salish art.

“There was a lot of discussion about what truly represents Native art versus what represents art for all of the community,” said Daine Lenius, a Poulsbo city engineer. “I think the key element of determination there was that Native art needs to be truly a piece of Native, authentic art in addition to the representation that’s there.”

The artpiece has been used as seed to grow goodwill between the city of Poulsbo and the Suquamish Tribe as the relationship has been strained since the shooting death of Stonechild Chiefstick by a Poulsbo police officer in 2019.

Early plans for roundabout artwork had been Viking City centric. Public comment called for the city to get input from the Suquamish Tribe. Eventually the Arts committee, with approval from the city, chose to remove those Nordic concepts and sought public input on the new concept.

“This has been one of the most intense portions of being on the City Counil in my first year– Like a lot of very vulnerable and intense conversations we’ve had, it has not been easy, but most things that are not easy are also worthwile,” said Councilwoman Britt Livdahl, who is also on the Arts Committee.

More in News

Poulsbo resdients cannot return to their home following an early morning fire that has left the structure uninhabitable. (courtesy photo).
Poulsbo residents displaced after residential fire

Cause of fire under investigation

46 new COVID cases confirmed in Kitsap

Nine of the new cases were in North Kitsap

‘Navigator’ helps direct people in need to social services in the community

The social-service specialist ‘is worth every penny,’ police chief says

SKSD board votes to emphasize student math education

Board directors say students will need improved match skills to compete for jobs

State troopers on the lookout for unbelted occupants

WSP attempting to reduce the number of fatalities on Kitsap roadways

Katie Stuart was named NKHS Class of 2021 valedictorian (Courtesy Photo).
NKHS students earn scholarships through service, aspirations

Two North Kitsap High School students are recipients of the West Sound… Continue reading

Two large single-family homes take shape in the new Poulsbo Meadows neighborhood. One of several housing developments that will be growing over the next 12-18 months. (KPark/NKH)
Poulsbo’s growth leads to need for inspector

The city of Poulsbo has approved the Building Department’s request to hire… Continue reading

Kiwanis Club of Port Orchard awards $27,500 in scholarships

Eleven SKSD students earn scholarship awards

Poulsbo City Hall reopens in a limited capacity

After over a year of being closed, Poulsbo City Hall is open… Continue reading

Most Read