EVERETT, Wash. – The City of Everett has selected Tulalip Tribes artist James Madison to create an outdoor, public art piece to serve as a lasting symbol of the City’s official land acknowledgement.
“Our city lies on the historic land of the sduhubš people and their successors, the Tulalip Tribes, and as such, I believe it’s essential for us to pay respect to the original inhabitants of these lands,” said Cassie Franklin, Mayor of the City of Everett. “I’m proud to have James Madison creating such a beautiful and impactful piece of art to honor indigenous peoples and our ongoing commitment to acknowledge their connection to these lands.”
Madison is highly acclaimed in the region and in the art community as a master carver but also works with other mediums including bronze, glass and stainless steel. In 2013, Madison was named Snohomish County’s Artist of the Year by the Shack Art Center and was honored with a month-long exhibit highlighting his wide range of art. His work is featured in many recognizable places including the Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens in Everett where visitors can find a sculpture representing his sons and in the Tulalip Resort and Casino hotel lobby where a 24-foot story pole resides.
This project is meant to be an expansion of the City land acknowledgment, approved by the Everett City Council in 2021, which was developed by the Everett Diversity Advisory Board in partnership with the Tulalip Tribes. A call for artists or artist teams went out in March 2021 and the city has budgeted $200,000 for all the phases of work and hopes to secure grant opportunities that will supplement this allocation.
Madison was selected from a few local artists that submitted applications for this project. Applicants were evaluated on several criteria and through this, Madison’s experience creating large-scale, outdoor art pieces and his deep connection to the subject matter made him stand out as the top candidate.