Courtesy: City of Seattle
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A Salish Welcome

Seattle, Washington

Marvin Oliver

Salmon Bay Natural Area: An area next to (west of ) The Canal reception hall, 3419 N.W. 54th St., Seattle, Washington, 98107
Owner:  Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs
Date:  2010
Placement:  walkways
Artwork Type:  outdoor sculpture, public sculpture
Material:  bronze (metal), aluminum (metal), steel (alloy), concrete, glass (material)
Description:  Marvin Oliver, a well-known Native American sculptor and printmaker, has created a 16-foot-tall free-standing sculpture located at the gathering and viewing area at the Salmon Bay Natural Area, a habitatrestored by Seattle Public Utilities. The cast bronze figure is draped in a Salish ceremonial robe andholds a four-foot diameter aluminum disk that features two laser-cut, powder-coated adult salmoncircling four glass salmon eggs. The sculpture’s base is clad with steel plates that feature laser-cutimagery of mature salmon facing upstream from Salmon Bay, and salmon fry pointing towards PugetSound.

According to Oliver, “A Salish Welcome honors the local Salish people and celebratesthe abundant and vital life on this ecological waterway. The monumental Salish figure in ceremonialrobe greets us and reminds us to preserve, protect and promote this evolving, living landscape for newgenerations and man alike.

Salmon was the most vital resource to our Salish people. Thereturn of the first salmon each year to the salmon stream was one of the most important events of theyear. The first salmon was caught and treated with great respect for it was believed to be the scoutfor the entire salmon village. If it wasn’t treated with respect and care the rest of the salmon peoplewould be offended and stay away. This is a lesson taught by our forefathers that should be carried toeach new generation. A Salish Welcome figure will remind all who visit to respect the landscape and allwho dwell within it.”

Funding source: Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art and Department OfNeighborhood Matching Funds Grant.

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