EVERETT, WA – The City of Everett is hosting a dedication event for ‘Aumangea,’ a new COVID-19 pandemic reflection art piece, at the Evergreen Branch of the Everett Public Library on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023, at 5 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend. Mayor Cassie Franklin and artist Stuart Nakamura will be speaking and members of the Cultural Arts Commission will be in attendance.
‘Aumangea,’ which means ‘resilience’ in Māori, is a large, steel sculpture in the shape of a fern leaf sprout, used as a metaphor for rebirth and strength. Quotes from the community are etched in, highlighting the fortitude and endurance shown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, the City of Everett released a call for artists on behalf of the Cultural Arts Commission to design, fabricate and install artwork for the exterior of the Evergreen Branch library that commemorates the community’s experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The art needed to incorporate community input and be accessible to people of differing abilities. There was a $25,000 budget set for all phases.
The Commission selected Stuart Nakamura, a Seattle-based artist whose works “reflect the character of the installation site while enhancing the viewers’ experiences.” In early 2022, Nakamura worked with the commission and city staff to solicit input from the community. This input helped inspire ‘Aumangea.”