The “Heart of the Valley” will remain hidden for the time being.
The sculpture – created by Cheney-based artist Richard Warrington – was donated by the Spokane Valley Arts Council with the thought of placing it on “gateway property” near Interstate 90 and Appleway Boulevard near the city’s welcome sign.
But some council members believe the piece – which is 12-feet high and depicts a red wave representing the heart of the Valley surrounded by silver waves representing its people – would be more appropriately placed at the city’s actual “heart” near City Hall at an expanded Balfour Park, at Herald Road and Sprague Avenue.
The problem is that the park could be years away from being built, meaning the sculpture may be sitting in storage for some time.
But Mayor Rod Higgins said he remains optimistic at Tuesday night’s council meeting.
“I have confidence we’ll do something with Balfour Park sooner than later,” he said.
In order to avoid it ending up inside the city’s Euclid Avenue storage facility, council members had considered locating the sculpture, the city’s sixth, to the Appleway trailhead area at University Road, just south of Sprague. But an abundance of signage and light fixtures would make the piece difficult to see by motorists.
“The more we talked, we didn’t see this provided a reasonable view,” said Jon Mueller, a landscape architect brought in by the city to consult on the matter. “We want to get this right.”
The nonprofit Spokane Valley Arts Council has donated five bronze sculptures to the city since 2009. Three are located at City Hall, including “Berry Picker,” “Coup Ponies” and “Woman With Horse.” The sculptures are funded through city grants and the Arts Council’s annual auction.