South Whidbey artist places work in Oak Harbor

South Whidbey wood- working artist Pat McVay was in the limelight despite the threatening dark sky as community members and civic lead- ers gathered to celebrate Oak Harbor’s newest piece of public artwork last Wednesday.

The community formal- ly welcomed the arrival of an elaborately crafted 14-foot cedar bench that now rests in front of the Oak Harbor Post Office.

The new “story board sculpture” was designed and hand carved by McVay, who was among about 30 people who gathered.

The intent was to pro- vide a peaceful spot for the community to rest and reflect in direct view of the 400-year-old oak tree at the post office’s native plant demonstra- tion garden.

Island Thrift and Harbor Pride were the primary funders of the new artwork. It marked the final project of

Harbor Pride, a communi- ty organization dedicated to improving Oak Harbor.

Parks Director Hank Nydam shared details about the health of the Garry oak, the centerpiece of the garden. Nydam said the tree was recently measured at 62 feet tall with a canopy 100 feet across.

A contest is being held to name the sculpture. The winner will receive a small carving by McVay. Entries may be put in a jar in the post office.


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