Arts Council public art proposal topped by international frog

ARLINGTON – What do former President Bill Clinton, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the city of Arlington have in common?

Later this year, they will all be among a who’s who of governments and foreign dignitaries who possess sculptures carved by George Pratt, a professional stone sculptor in British Columbia, Canada.

Thanks to the nonprofit Arlington Arts Council and its efforts to bring quality artwork to parks and streetscapes, and create a lively arts culture in the community, this newest piece will be the city’s first international rendition, council president Sarah Arney said.

The Arts Council on Monday submitted a proposal to donate to the city a frog sculpture for Haller Park at a cost of $15,000, with funds raised through its annual auction.

Arney said the sculpture will be carved out of granite, and stand 7- feet tall. In talking with Pratt, the artist has done plenty of bears, and he’s bored with fish, so he suggested a frog.

It’s a fitting amphibian, since the sculpture will be installed at Haller Park sometime after improvements and a new splash pad are installed later this year. The actual location has yet to be decided.

“There’s something childish about frogs,” said a receptive City Council Member Debora Nelson. “I think it embraces Haller Park. I think it fits. It’s fun.”

Recreation manager Sarah Lopez said once the frog is closer to finding a permanent pad, the city wants to run a “name the frog” contest.

The City Council Monday will consider the frog sculpture proposal, along with two other requests from the Arts Council for the city’s public art collection.

The Arts Council submitted a proposal to donate a rough cut granite stone with an engraved nature haiku poem chosen from the Eagle Festival haiku contest. It would be placed in Terrace Park.

Arney also helped the Public Works Administration office in soliciting artwork for the Stillaguamish Conference Room from Arts Council artists. Public Works set aside funds for the project, and have selected “Mountain Series” by Christina Harvey at a value of $1,200, and “River Painting” by Vicki Johnson, valued at $800.