Public art project in the works for liquor store corner

Aurora Sidney-Ando is no stranger to Mountain View: Her work adorns a mural along Richmond Avenue, a painting at the community center and the entryway to the Gardens at Bragaw.

Now, the Anchorage-based artist hopes to return to the neighborhood with a sculpture near the corner of Mountain View Drive and Park Street, created in collaboration with artist Christina Demetro.

“Whale Song” would stand in an empty planter box alongside a Brown Jug; a five-foot-tall metal homage to Alaska’s wildlife and ecological diversity. It would feature a whale, water cascading from its tail, with swimming salmon throughout the stream. There are two preliminary concepts for the sculpture — a two-dimensional metal design and a three-dimensional bronze version.

Seeking neighborhood support for the project at a December community council meeting, Sidney-Ando said the sculpture would be a fitting addition to Mountain View’s already sizable public art collection.

It would form a unique but recognizable peace symbol, she said. Neighborhood children and families would be invited to create painted handprints on stones to surround the base of the sculpture. Like the other art installations throughout the neighborhood, Sidney-Ando said the project could help beautify Mountain View and unify its residents.

“Our overall goal is to do art for social change,” she said.

Before that can happen at the corner of Mountain View and Park, there has to be support from the landowner and community council and at least $9,000 in funding, according to a project proposal assembled by the artists. The money for the sculpture would come from a combination of grants and crowdfunding, Sidney-Ando said. The completed sculpture would be donated to the Municipality of Anchorage.

When she was finished describing her vision for the project at the December community council meeting, there were only a few questions.

“What does it take to get you to design an entrance on the roundabout?” asked neighborhood resident Fred Owens.

A conceptual sketch of "Whale Song," the Mountain View sculpture proposed by artists Aurora Sidney-Ando and Christina Demetro.

A conceptual sketch of “Whale Song,” the Mountain View sculpture proposed by artists Aurora Sidney-Ando and Christina Demetro.

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