RAYMOND WILDLIFE-HERITAGE SCULPTURE CORRIDOR
Enchanting steel sculptures of wildlife and people enliven the Raymond scenery along Highway 101, State Route 6, and throughout downtown Raymond. The Heritage Sculpture Project was initiated by the Raymond Waterfront Redevelopment Committee in 1993. By 1996, more than 200 sculptures had been incorporated into the Raymond landscape.
The sculptures were designed by local artists to reflect the heritage of the area. Loggers, Native Americans, elk, deer, bear, and a variety of bird species are just some of the many subjects portrayed in the steel sculptures for visitors and residents to discover.
In 1992, the Raymond Waterfront Redevelopment Committee was formed. With the help of volunteers and government agencies, an effort to revitalize the community was initiated. One aspect of the Committee’s effort was the creation of a Raymond Wildlife-Heritage Sculpture Corridor. The project entailed landscaping three miles of roadside along the Highway 101 Corridor as it passes through the City of Raymond and erecting steel sculptures to represent the “essence” of Raymond.
In 1993 the City of Raymond received a $350,000 grant from the U.S. Coastal Corridor Program to support visual enhancements on State Highway 101. The City Commission and staff worked with the Waterfront Redevelopment Committee, landscape architect, cultural tourism consultant, three separate artists, an engineering firm, a steel fabricator, and multiple volunteers for over three years developing and installing approximately 200 metal sculptures along the three mile segment.
The artists were all from Pacific County and chosen by a local board of Raymond residents. A committee of volunteers worked together to determine the essence of what defines Raymond as a community; the artists developed images to portray that essence. The Willapa Bay, with its nearby hills and the native flora and fauna, were held very important, as were elements of the community’s history.
In 1994 the City contracted with Joanne Salley Jambor and Renee O’Connor for the creation of drawings of artwork for the Highway 101 Corridor enhancement Project. This artwork was then provided to Tacoma Steel Supply, Inc., for production. The metal sculptures were securely set on concrete platforms created by the City’s Public Works crew.
There are 36 animal species depicted in the silhouette drawings fashioned by Joanne Salley Jambor, with 103 total images. They range from large animals, such as deer and elk, to small birds, fish, and insects. Joanne was a freelance artist-draftsman from South Bend and a member of The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and GNSI Northwest. She held a B.A. in art and anthropology from Brown University and studied marine biology at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston, Oregon. Joanne had extensive knowledge of the Willapa estuary and had worked with the Washington State Extension Service of Willapa Watershed Advisors in South Bend.
There were 41 silhouette drawings selected portraying people, man-made objects, and working animals that were created by Renee Bishop O’Connor. Renee was from Ocean Park and was the owner/artist of Willapa Bay Tile and Design which produced several lines of art tiles. Renee specialized in line drawings, interpretive displays, and functional ceramics. She had a B.A. in Art and Elementary Teaching from San Francisco State University. Renee spent many hours in the Pacific County and Ilwaco Heritage Museums and talking to members of the Chinook tribe in Pacific County to make sure that people and activities in Raymond’s history were correctly represented.
The three dimensional sculptures in the grassy areas near the center of town are by Hans Curtis Nelson. Hans was an artist and farmer from North River, Washington and educated at Columbia Basin College, Purdue University, and Eastern Washington University. He had been a commercial sign painter for ten years prior to returning to this area to teach high school. It took Hans about one month to create each one of the three-dimensional sculptures utilizing the scrap steel remnants from Joanne and Renee’s drawings that had been cut into life size silhouettes by Tacoma Steel. Hans completed 30 of these three-dimensional metal sculptures. None of the sculptures depict any specific person, but each piece represents an element of the essence of life in Raymond and some aspect of Raymond’s rich history.
The project also included creating and installing nine life-sized sculptures of people and animals to be placed in three purposeful locations: a team of Oxen pulling lumber logs is located on the Northeasterly intersection of Highway 101 with Franklin Street near the Weyerhaeuser scale yard, a family and their dog is out for a stroll on the Westerly side of highway 101 between Duryea and Commercial Street to portray the importance of family and community, and a lady holding an umbrella is out shopping on the Southwesterly corner of the intersection at Third and Commercial Streets depicting the vitality of a robust retail core.
The project also included creating and installing light pole banner holders along Third Street and Highway 101. The project concept and direction were by Bridget Beattie McCarthy from Portland, Oregon. She was a cultural tourism consultant and project developer specializing in regionalism, marketing, facilities development, the arts, natural areas promotion, tourism, and grass-roots community development as they relate to supporting the concept of “community” and regional integrity. Bridget was convinced that the celebration and promotion of regionalism with integrity and style is economically, socially, and aesthetically sound and that in the long term quality pays.
The landscape architect was Gerald Mertl from rural Grays Harbor County. He was a graduate of Washington State University with a degree in landscape architecture, graduate work in urban planning at Michigan State University, and twenty six years of experience in commercial, institutional, and residential landscape design. Gerald used primarily native plant stock and simple planting plans in designing the background for the sculptures created for the project.
The citizens of Raymond hope that visitors enjoy the wildlife-heritage sculpture corridor and stop in Raymond to explore its history. The artwork is copyrighted to the artists, but the City of Raymond has exclusive right to reproduce the images. Replicas are currently unavailable. For further information, please contact the Willapa Harbor Chamber of Commerce, 360-942-5419.
Click the image below for a pdf version of the City of Raymond’s Informational Sheet:
Enjoy a virtual tour of many of the sculptures you’ll find here.