Wenatchee artist Terry Valdez lead a group of 7 other local artists to engrave and stain a 2-block section of South Chelan Avenue, between Peachy and Ferry streets. This 2-day activity is part of Phase II & III of the Chelan Avenue Sidewalk Project that started at the Wenatchee Community Center in 2014. Project objectives include increase safety and the sense of safety; ensure community ownership; construct sidewalk; incorporate public art and landscaping for; install pedestrian scale lighting; formalize parking options for residents and businesses; and re-channelize the street from a one-way to a two-way. The City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is funding the three-phase project.
During 2015, Phase I construction was taking place as well as a City effort to develop the South Wenatchee Action Plan. The project team intentionally combined the public outreach and community engagement for both efforts as a way to identify the pedestrian needs and wants of the residents. In addition to many informational meetings, the project team held two “Fiestas de Arte del Vecindario”, Neighborhood Art Parties and invited neighbors to create art for their community. Through the engagement process, neighbors realized shared goals for their community and the United Neighborhood Association (UNA) of South Wenatchee formed in order to facilitate coordinated improvements in their neighborhood. For the rest of the project, UNA has supported the project team through neighborhood communication, assisting with cultural meals at meetings and validating the project by sharing their support with local businesses and elected officials.
Phase II & III of the Chelan Sidewalk project is almost complete and the art team has put in a tremendous amount of work to beautify the space. This includes going to Seattle for a training by Eric Higbee and Stephanie Ingram of the Pomegranate Center to learn about concrete grinding and staining technique as they too emphasize community input to establish art themes for Public Art. Led by local artist, Terry Valdez, and supported by the Pomegranate Center of Seattle, community members came together for the on-site process of carving and staining the concrete. The flowing lines and stamped images evoke local images such as the Columbia river, vines, salmon and snowflakes, as well as hands, feet, stars, musical notes, and more.
Take a stroll this summer and walk the art!
Mark Seman, UNA Board member
cell: 928-925-7617 – email: email@example.com