Cultural Challenges

Andrew Binion writes of a tile mosaic made from bits of beer bottles fished out of Puget Sound by school kids about 50 years ago that could be demolished as part of a project to build new facilities at Olympic College.

When architects visited the site of what is slated to become a brand-new, $19.4-million humanities and student services building, they “all kind of scratched their heads and looked at it,” Martin said.

There was no plan to save the mosaic, which is essentially cemented to a concrete wall. And there’s no money set aside to do it.

But earlier this month, college librarian Dianne Moore took the issue of preserving the mosaic to the College Council.

“It’s not only a beautiful piece of art, it is an integral part of the history of the campus and of Bremerton,” Moore said.

A major piece of a memorial honoring a Bremerton giver was stolen, and folks are working to replace it.

Irving Allen was a driving force in Bremerton for 40 years. Appropriately, a memorial to the Forget-Me-Not Florists founder centered on a propeller.

That memorial was stolen Dec. 15 — sawed right off of its steel base.

8 thoughts on “Cultural Challenges

  1. Can the mosaic be cut and moved? It is a shame to think that we live in a community with so many engineers yet no one has come up with a way to carve the mosaic out of the cement wall and preserve it. If not I’ll have to check it out while it is still around. Perhaps there could be some high resolutions photographs could be made of it so at least the design of the artwork could be saved and re-printed. Having a piece of public art destined to be destroyed does not really match up with the Mayor and Chamber of Commerce’s vision of the Bremerton Art walk.

  2. Olympic College art students could help dismantle the mosaic while OC contacts the engineering department at the University of Washington and get their input.
    Sharon O’Hara

  3. Well hopefully a professional photographer (Like the one at the SUN)could document it so a high-resolution print of it could be made later on so at least the design of the mural could outlive the physical installation itself.

  4. Good idea.
    The Kitsap Sun must have photos from the time of the unveiling and the Kitsap County Historical Society would have photos and old copies of the paper from that time.
    Sharon O’Hara

  5. What I want to see is a really high-definition film print or digital composite shot under good lighting conditions before the demolition so they could eventually make a life size (or scaled down) framed print of the mural and put it on the new building.

    I went to school at the Art Institute of Seattle and there are plenty of photography students there that would be perfect for such a job. If the Bremerton art community could have a fundraiser to raise money to hire the photographer it would sort of be a way of saving the artwork mural from destruction when they physical installation is destroyed.

  6. I am serious about we could do this. What is the time frame for when the mural is scheduled to be demolished? The piece said “Later this Year” is that months.. .weeks when?

  7. I have recently viewed the mural slated for demolition. It is an amazing piece that highlights the “mural movement” of the 1950’s. This work is so significant that the Seattle Art Museum should be contacted. I plan to make some calls, but hopefully the college is of the right mind to do whatever it takes to save this incredible piece of work.

  8. I have recently viewed the mural slated for demolition. It is an amazing piece that highlights the “mural movement” of the 1950’s. This work is so significant that the Seattle Art Museum should be contacted. I plan to make some calls, but hopefully the college is of the right mind to do whatever it takes to save this incredible piece of work.

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