The city of Whitefish will host an unveiling for a new bronze sculpture adorning the outside of Whitefish City Hall tonight at 5:30 p.m.

The sculpture is called Harmony Waters” and was made by local artist Charity Flowers as part of a collaboration between Stumptown Art Studio and the city.

Flowers said she was “honored and humbled” for the chance to create the piece.

The piece is tall and narrow – 9 feet tall and approximately 14 inches wide – and is being placed on the outside of City Hall in a space the building’s architect specifically reserved for public art.

“It’s important to have public art in a public building,” Deputy Mayor Richard Hildner said. “Arts have always played an important part in Whitefish.”

Hildner said the Whitefish City Council made the choice to go forward with the piece about two years ago. The council said “no public money” could go into the sculpture, so Hildner found “about a dozen donors and businesses” to help fund the sculpture.

Support for the sculpture is a “reflection of philanthropy and generosity of Whitefish,” Hildner said.

Stumptown Art Studio presented three proposals for art to fill the space. One was composed of tile, and the other featured elements of Native American history relevant to the Whitefish area.

But the council decided on Flowers’ bronze artwork, which Flowers called a “mid-to-high relief” sculpture which features mountain whitefish swimming up a stream – from the bottom to the top of the sculpture – in what Hildner called “a wonderful swirl of activity.”

Hildner called the piece “absolutely stunning” and said Flowers was “very faithful” to the council’s original vision for the piece. It was originally going to be welded, but the bronze allowed for a “more unified” presentation and will last longer, Flowers said.

Flowers sculpted the piece in clay, then it was cast in bronze at Kalispell Art Casting.

She said it looks like staring at the surface of the water, but the vertical presentation gives it a more contemporary feeling.

Flowers actually spent a lot of time looking at water throughout the time she was crafting the artwork. She suffered a back injury that slowed progress on the piece, but found solace during her recovery by going into nature and relaxing by the water, observing the rocks and ripples. She said she focused on the water’s “healing properties.”

She hopes her piece helps convey a sense of unity between both community and nature.

“When I think of Whitefish, I think of two things: community and stewardship to the land.” Flowers said.

She hopes observers of the piece “can relate to being connected to one another” and the natural areas around Whitefish.

Reporter Colin Gaiser may be reached at 758-4439 or cgaiser@dailyinterlake.com





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