I saw the pigs in Seattle in 2005. They were on several street corners. Big pigs. Painted and cute. They caused me to pause and smile. My girls took pictures. I later saw bears in Grants Pass and became aware of the Ducks in the airport in Eugene. Where did they come from? And why? What did they mean? What was their purpose? I soon realized it was part of a theme, a community of art icons that stuck with me. Cementing the memory of Seattle, Grants Pass, and Eugene in my psyche.
When looking for our own creative way to celebrate 20 years at the FEC of the performing and visual arts, a crazy idea was born. What was natural to our area and what moved gracefully? What was whimsical and fun? The sea lion concept was tossed around inititally. What about sea stars? Too small. Whales would be too big. Salmon had been done in Salem and Portland. Sea Lions had not been done. And so the dancing sea lion icon was born.
Selling the idea was tricky at first. Especially a plan that expanded down the Oregon Coast from Newport to Reedsport. It soon caught on and gained momentum. The support has been fantastic.
Now, it's one year later and 20 days to go until Splash Off! I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas. Hours of organization, approval and herding fiberglass sea lions is all coming together! Stay tuned!