Artists plan to rebuild damaged display

ANCHORAGE — Creators of a public art installation damaged by tides and high winds at an Anchorage beach plan to rebuild the statue-filled exhibit by the original opening date.

Lead project artist Sarah Davies said Friday that participants at Point Woronzof have recovered 82 of 85 of the sculptures made of straw, cement, plaster and burlap. She said the official opening is still scheduled for Dec. 5.

Most of the figures were toppled by the elements this week, just days after they were installed.

Participants say the 100Stone project is about the personal wellness-management stories of Alaskans. The sculptures represent real people dealing with real emotional vulnerabilities, including trauma and mental illness.

Davies said the sculptures will be repositioned beyond the high tide line. Because the placement will differ from the original plan, participants will have to amend various government permits required for the installation, according to Davies, a special education and science teacher at a local high school.

The vulnerability to the tides was always part of the project because it reflects human frailties, and the tides were mentioned in various government permits required for the project, according to Davies. The damage just happened more aggressively and sooner than expected. It’s just too soon for all of them to be so affected, she said.

“That’s where all my emotions are right now,” she said. “And at the same time, it’s so perfect for the message.”

Davies has been visiting the site daily, and was there again Friday, inspecting some of the downed sculptures. She is still hoping to find the three sculptures that remain missing.

“These are people. These are people’s stories, and if they are still there, I’m their steward,” Davies said. “I need to take care of them.”

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