The City of Redmond recently celebrated their first roundabout art installation at the Yew Avenue and 27th Avenue roundabout. Over the past year a team of students from Redmond and Ridgeview High Schools (RHS) and the Redmond Proficiency Academy (RPA) successfully designed, built, welded and assembled the sculpture inspired by the Cascade mountain range and the natural beauty of the high desert. Under the dedicated guidance of teachers Ethan Stelzer and Lance Hill as well as local artist-in-residence Ryan Beard, the student’s vision is now a permanent part of Redmond’s landscape.
The journey began in the Spring of 2013 when Redmond Commission for Art in Public Places (RCAPP) tasked Stelzer with coordinating the project with the expectation of having all area high schools involved to produce a community-oriented piece of art that would be installed in the Yew roundabout.
The student design team, with help from local artist Ryan Beard, developed concepts, presented ideas and voted as a group to decide which concept to pursue. Students collaborated on the design ideas, crafted a budget proposal and created a maquette (small version of the sculpture). The students presented the proposal, and it was approved first by RCAPP and then the City Council. As RPA students continued on the design, welding students from RHS began work on the fabrication and students at RPA continued with the design.
“It’s exciting to complete a project of this magnitude. The collaboration between students and high schools has been incredibly rewarding. Each student brought their own skills and abilities to the project, and this is a great example of the sum being greater than the individual parts. I don’t think a single artist working alone could have created a sculpture like this,” said Stelzer.
“Every year since 2010 the Redmond Commission for Art in Public Places has partnered with the Redmond School District on a public art project in order to highlight and celebrate the talented youth in our community, and to engage youth in what we do. This is the largest one yet and is demonstrative of the wonderful opportunities that come out of a dynamic partnership between the local government and local schools,” said Heather Richards, community development director for the City of Redmond.
“The students were responsible for design, budget management, fabrication and installation of this sculpture,” Richards continued. “It was a huge undertaking and they exceeded all expectations, gifting our community with a tremendous legacy public art project that will be enjoyed by all. My hope is that our partnership with Redmond’s youth will continue to evolve and grow, so that we can celebrate many similar successes in the future. A big thank you to everyone involved.”
Heather Richards, Community Development Director at 541-923-7756