Sculptures breathe new life into Edmonds’ flower basket poles

Kelp is one of three botanical sculptures installed on downtown Edmonds flower poles.

Edmonds is known for its flowers and for its art. Put the two together and you have the new hanging flower basket poles.

The hanging flower baskets have been a key part of Edmonds downtown beautification program for many years. Although some baskets hang off of the historic style street lights along Main Street, the majority are on separate poles. The City Parks, Recreation  and Cultural Services Department will gradually be replacing the original galvanized poles with a new flower pole standard that is a square steel pole painted black. The first three “prototype” poles were installed this fall.  wo of the poles are installed on Main Street outside the Frances Anderson Center and one pole is located on 5th Avenue North just south of City Hall.

A number of years ago, the Arts Commission identified the need for new flower poles as an opportunity to create unique artist made sculptural elements in the downtown, a goal included in the 2008 Community Cultural Plan. The placement of commissioned artwork on the new poles will eventually create an outdoor exhibit stretching along Main Street and 5th Avenue for the public to enjoy, especially when the flower baskets are not in place.

The Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation stepped forward this year to fund the artwork for the first three poles and commemorative plaques are attached to each pole. Commissioned through the EAC, artists Jean Whitesavage and Nick Lyle installed three unique artworks on the three poles in early December. Each piece is a botanical design (lily, kelp, and salmonberry flower), made from forged steel that was galvanized. According to the artists, the galvanized surface is expected to weather over time, but right now the new sculptures are sparkling for the holiday season. Whitesavage and Lyle also created the forged steel elevator surround artwork in the City Hall lobby in 1997.

In 2011, the new poles with art elements commissioned by the Arts Commission will become a part of the Parks, Recreation  and Cultural Services Department Gift Catalogue similar to the bench program. Donors will be invited to purchase a unique pole to commemorate or honor a person or organization with a small plaque.

For more information call the Arts Office at 425-771-0228.

  1. Thank you Edmonds Art Foundation Directors as well as the Edmonds Art Festival Directors (and volunteers) for your financial support over the years to beautify this City. Also Francis Chapin and Stephen Clifton are hard-working and wonderful visionaries for this City.

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