New sculptures to be unveiled in Langley

— Created May 12, 2021 by Kathy Reed

By Kathy Reed

Thanks to the Langley Arts Fund, people visiting the City by the Sea will have three new sculptures to see as they stroll downtown Langley.

An unveiling ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday outside Calahan’s Firehouse on Second Street to welcome the sculptures, created by Whidbey Island artists Sue Taves, Dan Freeman and Hank Nelson. Mayor Tim Callison will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the event.

The sculptures will remain on display for the next two years. Langley Arts Fund raised money for stipends for the artists, part of an agreement with the Langley City Council. Members of the LAF team said they were pleased with the caliber of the entries they received.

“We received a total of four entries to our call,” said Bruce Hanson, head of marketing for the organization. “All four were beautiful, remarkable sculptures produced by Whidbey Island artists, so the selection was not so easy. Our selection team, led by Diane Divelbess, included the members of the Langley Arts Fund team along with two representatives of the Langley community. In the end, we felt these three pieces would work best in the three downtown Langley locations. “

Being unveiled Saturday are “Reaching Up,” by Sue Taves, made from basalt, limestone and steel; “Medjay-Egyptian Warrior,” by Hank Nelson, made of bronze; and “Skinny
Red Wiggle” by Dan Freeman, which is made of steel.

Taves’ work will be displayed in front of Calahan’s Firehouse, Freeman’s work will be placed by The Commons across the street and Nelson’s sculpture will be by the post office.

“We hope these three outstanding sculptures contribute to the overall feel of life and fun in downtown Langley,” said Nelson. “We hope that placing Hank Nelson’s piece across the street from City Hall and in front of the post office will reinforce the gravitas of our public servants as they carry out their duties and remind the community of the importance of their work. Sue Taves’ and Dan Freeman’s pieces are more playful and festive. We hope they will inspire our community and our visitors to enjoy themselves and have fun as they visit downtown.”

Nelson said Langley Arts Fund continues to work on its plan connecting downtown Langley with Whale Bell Park and Seawall Park.

“The first phase of the project was commissioning and installing ‘Hope the Wishing Whale’ in Whale Bell Park last year,” he explained. “Next we’ll be looking at providing full ADA access to Seawall Park and other artistically created improvements envisioned by the Langley ad hoc citizens committee that worked on an improvement plan for the park.”

The nonprofit group, which operates as a partner with the Whidbey Island Arts Council, raises money to support a variety of artistic projects.

“We are working with Whidbey Telecom to provide artistic wrappers for some of their telecom boxes around the city,” Nelson said.  “We will work with the city on sculpture selections as the opportunities arise. We’ll be a part of the ‘Langley Creates’ effort as the city grows into the Creative District designation from the State of Washington.

“Our mission statement says ‘The Langley Arts Fund identifies projects, artists, partnerships and funding to nurture and support our community’s creative endeavors,'” he continued. “From that mission, we expect other projects and endeavors will emerge over the coming years.”

For more information on Saturday’s unveiling ceremony or to learn more about the Langley Arts Fund, visit See more of the artists’ work at;; and