Founders Sculpture - CODAworx

Founders Sculpture

Submitted by Richard Nash

Client: City of Oak Harbor

Location: Oak Harbor, WA, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $95,000

Project Team


Richard Nash

RJ Nash Art


Hank Nydam

City of Oak Harbor Parks Department

Industry Resource

Jim Pierson

Superior Systems Inc.


Three 12 foot “towers” located in a corner of a 9′ x 9′ triangular footprint were designed to create a strong but elegant sculpture. The project was to be affordable, well-designed, durable and have enough size to invite the viewer to move in and around the structure. In addition to daytime viewing, artificial lighting would provide nighttime options for enjoying the nuances of the edges and planes. The Cor-ten itself would require minimum maintenance and would attain a rich patina.


The goal was to create a symbolic public sculpture that acknowledged the three land claims founders for the area eventually becoming the City of Oak Harbor. Each of the three 12 foot towers, all "leaning in", represented the "conversation" (my alternate title) the three explorers had before beginning their trek to the Pacific Northwest. An older original plaque plus a new plaque with the more complete story was also integrated into the design.


The project was enthusiastically spearheaded by a longtime resident of Oak Harbor. She contacted me, also an Oak Harbor resident, to design the project. The concept was introduced to the City Council with visuals of the sculpture. The Arts Commission was also involved and with their input, the height of the piece was increased by 2 feet to 12 feet. After the monetary goals were met, the remainder of the fabrication and construction needs for the project were donated by community contractors. I served as the project manager and coordinated all of the different components up to and including the installation. It required a great deal of planning, many meetings, and several permits.

Additional Information

There was $35,000 raised for a portion of the project. Many local contractors contributed time and materials. The total of these costs plus the monetary donations is estimated to be $95,000.