Recycled ruminants: Couple installs public art

August 2018 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community

Cathy and Jim Prince next to C Street’s elk. Nancy Jennings

By Nancy Jennings

You may have noticed the over 10-foot-tall, 450-pound majestic elk looming large on C Street – and the deer family (buck, doe and fawn) on Front Street in Silverton.

Making their debut in April, the figures are so lifelike they almost appear to move. Silverton resident Jim Prince, 70, sourced and purchased the wildlife forms, which are made from all-recycled aluminum, including Coke and Pepsi cans.

“I got them on eBay. They were less than 10 percent of the cost of a bronze statue. These came from Texas. The molds are made at a sister company in Mexico. They don’t age and have a lifetime wear policy,” Prince said.

“I read an article on affordable statues. What caught my interest was instead of being brass with a bronze finish, these are aluminum with a paint finish.”

Jim’s true inspiration to further beautify Silverton came from a unique feature in his children’s college town.

“All of our kids attended Northwest Bible College in Kirkland, Washington. Kirkland has a statue on every corner.”

Jim and his wife, Cathy, own Front Street Properties where the sculptures were installed. The couple has been married for 47 years, have four children and eight grandchildren.

Jim assumed he’d need a permit from the city to install the statues. He was pleasantly surprised. The sight lines for drivers around the corners weren’t obstructed, so he was free to place the figures without a permit.

“We hope others get onboard with it,” Cathy said. “Silverton is our home and we just want to have it attractive and nice.”

“We have plans to place one or two more. I’d like to see the Mural Society get involved. I think this would go hand-in-hand with them,” Jim said.

The new apartment complex behind Wilco now also displays an elk.

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