In the sunny craft room at the Mountain View Boys & Girls Club, kids spent Tuesday evening helping shape the latest piece of public art to come to the neighborhood.
“Whale Song” is the brainchild of local artists Christina Demetro and Aurora Sidney-Ando. Playing on themes of peace and diversity, it features a 5-foot bronze statue of a whale in motion, arching upwards under a plume of water. Once complete, it will sit at the corner of Mountain View Drive and N. Park Street.
To help make the $28,000 project a reality, the artists partnered with the Anchorage Community Land Trust, received a sponsorship from the Alaska Humanities Forum and secured the approval of the municipal public art committee. They’ll also launch an Indiegogo fundraising campaign, Demetro said.
The two artists hope to complete the statue this year, using a foundry in Palmer to cast the bronze pieces using the lost wax process. When finished, “Whale Song” will include the marks of dozens of people in the community: Those who donate to the project can see their initials become part of the texturing on the whale’s body, and the entire sculpture will swim in a sea of blue stones painted by kids from the neighborhood.
Tuesday evening in the community center craft room, a group of kids helped shape clay fins for the full-size mold, and left painted handprints on rocks laid out on the table. One little girl covered hers with tiny blue polka dots, excited to show off the finished product.
“Oh, that’s so beautiful,” Demetro told her, laying the rock out to dry on a counter. “They look like stars.”