In your travels around the valley, soon you will encounter new outdoor artwork. We are the artists who were chosen to create the gateway art for Twisp, and we’re thrilled that it’s time to share it with everyone. The Methow Valley News has covered this process since the beginning, and has allowed us this space to write something about the artwork that will greet visitors and locals alike at both ends of Twisp for years to come.
“Mountain Home” has been over a year in the making, made possible by a Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) grant through its Complete Streets program. WSDOT has been a great partner in this, not just funding the project, but also working with us and the Town of Twisp to make this gateway an addition to safe roadways. These artworks send a signal of welcome to visitors, announcing that they’ve arrived in Twisp and the Methow.
It’s natural to ask artists, “what made this design come to mind? What do you see in it? What should I see in it?” And this is perhaps the most beautiful thing about art — we are all given free license to see it and make of it what we will, without judgment or concern about getting it wrong. What you see in an artwork is what makes it yours. And these gateways belong to us all. Our great hope is that you take pride in these gateways as you do in the valley itself.
Our initial intent was to create art that represented Twisp as a welcoming place. Sometimes your place is the very earth; other times it’s about the people you interact with frequently or perhaps just occasionally. To us, the three staggered panels of “Mountain Home” suggest our place in the mountains, with the matrix of holes, sometimes aligning, other times not, suggesting other things. Snow. Neighbors. Ideas. Perspective. As you pass by the art it changes, as we all do as we pass by and interact with each other.
We are amidst a community with strong creative sense. Not just artists, but also people all around us are creating something out of this valley. We hope the artwork subtly inspires people to think a bit more creatively every day.
As fortunate as we feel to have been chosen to create the art, we can say that every single individual who touched this process made it better. From the organizations and people involved in the selection panel, to the local government, to the people who attended the community interactive sessions, to WSDOT, and the list goes on — we couldn’t have envisioned the resulting art without your participation. Our thanks to everyone who participated.
We would like to thank specific partners in this process, including: Mayor Soo Ing-Moody; Andrew Denham, director of Public Works; the Twisp Economic Revitalization Committee; the Twisp Chamber of Commerce; the Twisp Town Council; Methow Arts; JR and Five Star Concrete; Larry Zimmerland; engineer Tim Odell and Alpine Welding; and WSDOT.
Finally we thank you, our neighbors and our community, for being part of the process. Inspiration comes from many places, and this town, this valley, and the community that inhabits this place is our inspiration on a daily basis.
If ever you would like to talk about this work, please drop in on us at our offices at TwispWorks, stop us at the store, or grab us for a cup of coffee at one of our shared haunts around the valley. We’d love to hear from you.