Casting on the much-anticipated bronze whale sculpture should begin in the next few weeks, sculptor R.T. “Skip” Wallen said. The sculpture will be installed at a park that’s being constructed beneath the Douglas bridge on the Juneau side. A $250,000 grant from the Rasmuson Foundation has enabled the artist to start the process.
“We’re estimating that there will be a little over 600 individual casts which will have to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle,” Wallen said.
Wallen said the plumbing of the sculpture is still being developed. Wallen’s intent is to make the sculpture look as if it’s breaching above the water.
“We’re working, of course, with freshwater, but we want to make it look like seawater,” Wallen said. “The fountain people have a method for creating a mist effect that will make it look like it’s coming out through the surface of the sea and when you mix this mist effect with the actual jets of water it looks quite real.”
Wallen said he’s still working with the artistic team to decide the color scheme for the pool that the sculpture will sit in. He said the team is considering colors natural to the area
“Sometimes a piece like this becomes an anchor, a real benefit to the community,” Wallen said.