After major restoration, Marvin Oliver’s Big Bird (1979) was re-installed in June 2021 inside the Yelm High School Commons area. The artwork was previously located on the building’s exterior, where it was damaged by exposure to the elements. A student noticed the poor condition of the Coast Salish artwork and approached Principal John Johnson asking if it could be restored. Read more about this project.
ArtsWA is responsible for the overall care of the State Art Collection. This includes inventory, conservation activities, and record keeping. Our collections management policy ArtCare guides these activities. Artworks are under the day-to-day stewardship of the sites that host them.
The Collection includes more than 5,000 artworks. They are located in K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and state agencies across Washington. ArtsWA collaborates with these entities to care for the artwork.
Collection Care Resources
Materials and Fabrication Handbook. Review our recommendations and requirements for materials, fabrication methods, and placement for commissioned artwork. This resource supports artists in their efforts to design works durable enough for a public environment.
Painting Materials Guide. A straightforward guide designed for artists with painted mural projects at K-12 public schools.
ArtCare: Collections Management Policy for Washington’s State Art Collection. Review our collections management policies and procedures. ArtCare includes information about artwork conservation, deaccession, and rights and reproductions.
Recent Conservation Projects
Circle of Light (1992) by Richard C. “Dick” Elliott is comprised of nearly 50,000 individual 3-inch diameter reflectors in an 880-foot-long belt around the Yakima Valley SunDome. It is an icon in the region but the Yakima sun and wind had their toll. Over the summer of 2022, Circle of Light was restored with thousands of new reflectors. Explore and read more about the restoration of Circle of Light.
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