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Gallery of Public Art
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"Forever Friends"

Artist - John Jewell

Location: Curran Apple Orchard Park

A stunning horse sculpture is now greeting visitors at the Curran Apple Orchard Park in University Place while providing them with a glimpse of local history. UP for Arts, a nonprofit volunteer arts group, commissioned Artist John Jewell to create the sculpture entitled “Forever Friends,” to celebrate the Curran Apple Orchard’s 25th anniversary as a community park.

The life-size bronze sculpture of a young girl offering an apple to a horse represents the deep connection between our rural past and our hope for the future. 

Created in the early 1950s by Charles and Mary Curran, the orchard has played a pivotal role in bringing the community together. Many residents have fond memories of visiting the orchard for apples and cider.

The Curran’s horses, Brewster and Christopher, were also quite popular, accepting apples from visitors and occasionally giving them rides. During the early 1990s, developers approached the Currans about selling their land for housing. The community rallied to obtain a Pierce County Conservation Futures grant to preserve the orchard as a park along with purchasing the house. After incorporation, the City took over the park with assistance from the CORE volunteer group.

Brewster, a great grandson of racing icon Man o’War, was bred with the hopes of becoming a race horse. Right before his first race, Brewster came down with a serious illness and wasn’t expected to live. The Currans couldn’t bear to put him down…instead they brought him home, hand fed him and Brewster survived!
Although his racing career was over, Brewster and his brother Christopher lived happily at the orchard for many years, delighting countless visitors.

In order to bring Brewster to life, UP for Arts contacted accomplished sculptor John Jewell who also created the group’s first donated artwork—the “Sharing” statue located in Cirque Bridgeport Park. Jewell spent months researching thoroughbred race horses and old photos of Brewster to ensure the accuracy
of the sculpture assisted by equine consultant Robin Peterson. After developing the initial design, Jewell worked with Firebird Bronze Foundry to create the final artwork. Jewell’s passion for the project and attention to detail was also noted by the foundry’s owner who indicated the artwork was one of the strongest
emotional pieces they had ever worked on, Nance said. “During the process of creating “Forever Friends,” I kept in mind University Place citizens’ unique connections to each other,” Jewell said. “There is a spirit here of achieving a beautiful, living community that includes giving, sharing and caring for each other. These values are conveyed in the offering of the apple and the exchange of full expressions between the girl and the large horse. Youth and age, reaching out with trust and seeing each other in a moment of time are all part of this sculpture. The effects of the wind on “Forever Friends” represent continual and diverse changes bringing us closer together in new ways.”

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"Between Sea and Sky" is a dynamic colored glass sculpture celebrating the light and native plants of the Pacific Northwest.  Visitors will discover changing colors, shadows and patterns every time they visit the atrium.


Created by nationally renowned Artist Michele Gutlove, (view more of her work on her website:  this dynamic artwork will enhance the atrium, creating an intriguing gathering place and destination in the city.


The piece is a suspended sculpture composed of individual pieces of handblown glass dancing with light.  Colors transform magically as the glass, its shadows and reflections are observed in changing lights and angles.


In Nature, no leaves trees or birds are exactly the same.  Similarly, each piece of sculptural glass is unique in color and form, crafted individually by hand.

"Between Sea and Sky"

Artist - Michelle Gutlove

Location: Civic/Library Atrium

"One Step Ahead"

Artist - Georgia Gerber

Location: Market Plaza

Renowned Northwest sculptor Georgia Gerber was selected to create the commissioned work which is displayed in the Market Square public plaza in front of the new Civic Building near Bridgeport Way between 35th and 37th . The duck was created in honor of Terry Reim, a long time UP resident who was instrumental in the Duck Parade, former Farmer’s Market and other community activities.  


Artist - John Jewell

Location: Cirque Park

 This piece was the first piece of art commissioned by UP for ART on behalf of the city. John Jewell, a former resident of University Place, donated his sculpting time as his way to give back to the community. The sculpture reflects the importance of adults passing on wisdom, skills and experience to the next generation. When the piece was being developed, the sculptor was asked to revise his version of "Grandma" to reflect a more vibrant woman, which those involved felt more accurately reflected the spirit of the older women of the community. 

"Life Cycle of the
Leach Creek Salmon"

Artist - Lavonne and George Hoivik

Location: Bridgeport Way Bridge

The series of bronzes embedded on the wood and attached to the bridge are an accurate depiction of the life cycle of the salmon that swim up Leach Creek to spawn. The road project that allowed this art was undertaken to enlarge the culvert under the road from 6ft to 30ft so salmon would have an easier time getting through. The art shows the salmon returning from the ocean and spawning, eggs hatching, alevin (eyed eggs) emerging and developing into fry and fingerlings heading for the ocean. 

"The Eagle's Nest"

Artist - Douglas Granum

Location: 40th St. Roundabout

This art piece, undertaken on behalf of the city, was completed as one of the first steps in a major economic redevelopment effort. The piece, accomplished through a partnership between UP for Arts and the City of University Place, was made possible by the generosity of both the residents who donated to the fund-raising effort and the artist, who gave much more than he was paid. It is a bold work with large elements. The boulders, nest and eagles bring a feeling of the mountains to our city. The egg represents UP's potential as a community where great things can happen from humble beginnings. 

"The Slug"

Artist - Christopher Hoppin

Location: Homestead Park

This whimsical character, which is placed where kids can climb on it, was one of the eight ideas for the 40th Street roundabout, "The Slug Race". The Friends of Homestead commissioned one of the race participants for a place within the park where it would be more accessible. It was created as a light-hearted way to celebrate nature. By viewing this typically unpleasant creature as an interactive sculpture, visitors get a different sense of nature and the environment, plus a bit of fun. The patterns painted on the slug are derived from cultures including Maori, Native American and Celtic. 

"Balazs Sculpture"

Artist - Harold Balazs

Location: 40th and Bridgeport Way

in front of Key Bank

In 1972, an understated building at the corner of South 40th Street and Bridgeport Way was completed. The building designed by Robert B. Price, one of the most prolific architects working in Tacoma in the 1960s and ’70s, was to be the University Place branch of the Puget Sound National Bank. Balazs was brought in to design a modest-sized sculpture to accentuate the plaza.


The curves and angles reflect the rhythms and shapes of Mayan and Asian art along with the symbols and letter forms that Balazs has found so fascinating throughout his career. Balazs pioneered a method of casting concrete by cutting his shapes in Styrofoam to make his molds. As the concrete was poured, rebar was added to reinforce the work. Key Bank, which, now owns the building, has just finished a restoration of this piece. 

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"Contemplating Trade Center Steel
9/11 Memorial"

Artist - John Jewell

Location: "Reflection Park" 

West Pierce Fire and Rescue Headquarters 

3631 Drexler Drive West

This sculpture is part of a memorial park that commemorates September 11th. It depicts a fireman kneeling in front of a piece of steel from the World Trade Center buildings. For the model of the fireman, John Jewell insisted an actual fireman be used. “Firefighters carry themselves in certain ways, communicate in certain ways,” says Jewell, who has studied anatomy extensively. “You can tell the difference." 

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