“Breaker” featured in Regional Design Magazine

The art project officially named “Breaker” by Adam Kuby (Portland, OR) has been funded by the Grays Harbor Community Foundation.  The site, a small triangle of City right-of-way between the business districts of Aberdeen and Hoquiam was recently renamed “Weatherwax Triangle” by the Aberdeen City Council.

This project was undertaken to honor the legacy of the Weatherwax family and to inspire both local residents and those that pass through Grays Harbor towards generosity and commitment to community. The artwork is intended to support both motorist drive-by and up-close pedestrian viewing experiences, and is comprised of architectural sandstone blocks from the old J.M Weatherwax High School as a re-use material, along with landscaping and lighting.

In 2002, Aberdeen’s J.M. Weatherwax High School, a historic building built in 1909, was destroyed by a fire. The Weatherwax family long contributed to the Grays Harbor Community as philanthropists and civic leaders epitomizing humility, hard work, and generosity.  The loss of the building generated community interest in creating a new physical acknowledgment to the Weatherwax family.

Architectural sandstone blocks previously installed on the high school building’s facade were salvaged for re-use in the effort to recognize anew these ordinary people who did extraordinary things, and to inspire others to do the same.

A reminder of the Weatherwax legacy, the stones also serve as a symbol of strength and survival, rising from the ashes, and resilience: qualities that Aberdeen residents see within themselves. Some of the stones are permanently displayed in the new high school building which opened in 2007, while others were artistically re-used with interpretation in this public artwork opportunity.

DMW Images (Darrell Westmoreland)

DMW Images (Darrell Westmoreland)

A GHCF Board Member expressed a significant interest in the arts in Grays Harbor.   He is specifically interested in Public Art, and after seeing the success of the Community Foundation project to develop “Breaker” by Adam Kuby, he established the Fund for Public Art at the Foundation.  Since then several other Board Members and members of the Community have made gifts to this fund.  We look forward to more public art projects in our communities.