Submitted by Rene Carroll

Art lovers and the entire community are invited to help welcome the newest piece of public art in Washougal.  “Dreaming,” a large, friendly and life-like bronze bear sculpture, created by Heather Soderberg of Cascade Locks, will be celebrated at an unveiling and dedication ceremony on Saturday, March 7, at 1:00 p.m. at the art’s location on the corner of A Street and Pendleton Way in downtown Washougal. Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance will then hose a community reception and WACA membership meeting immediately following at 2Rivers Bar and Grill.

Dreaming was installed in late January and is the latest in a plethora of public art popping up all around Washougal.  This piece was a WACA project in which they selected it and led the fundraising efforts. In addition to public support raised by WACA, substantial contributors were also Jim and Betty Cooper of Washougal and the City of Washougal Tourism Fund.  The piece is valued at $30,000.

The dedication will feature short comments from Soderberg and Washougal Mayor Molly Coston.

“We are delighted and proud to welcome this outstanding piece art to Washougal,” said Kelli Rule, WACA President.  “We love that we are already seeing so much public interaction with it!  The bear is so cute and perfect for a fun selfie.”  The piece has been wearing a red and black scarf from the Big Foot staff that they put on during the very cold weather in early February.

This is the third piece created by Soderberg in Washougal.  Her other pieces are Seaman, the Newfoundland dog at Reflection Plaza, and Chak’ – Chak, the eagle at Washougal Waterfront Park.

After the dedication, a community reception and membership meeting for WACA donors and others interested in support of public art will be held at 2Rivers Grill at Washougal Town Square.  At the event WACA’s choices for Art Patron of the Year, Wes and Diane Hickey, and Local Artist of the Year, Angela Ridgway, will be celebrated.

The Washougal Youth Arts Month Gallery will also be taking place on that day at Washougal Town Square.  Presented by WACA and Washougal School District, the gallery is open Thursday March 5 and Friday March 6 from 5-7pm and Saturday March 7 from 1-5pm. Now in its second year, the event showcases student artwork from all Washougal schools, art projects from community education classes and images from WACA’s Discover the Beauty of Washougal student photography challenge.  From more information go to Washougal School District website. 

For more information about WACA, how to become and member and their efforts to bring public art to Washougal visit their website.


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