Oak Harbor High School

Whidbey Island, Washington


A Cairn in front of the high school tells you where the entrance is, literally, but also marks the trail, metaphorically, of learning and growing, of preparing to go farther down the path towards adulthood. Stacking up rocks is an age old beach activity, and Oak Harbor is surrounded by beaches with rocks. Building a Cairn is a way of saying “I was here”. Every rock is different, and unique, just as every student is different and unique.

The artwork consists of two Cairns, one larger and one smaller, the larger one located in front of the main entrance, and the smaller in front of the Auditorium entrance to the school. Each Cairn is installed on top of a round concrete base, and includes an interior light fixture that shines up inside the Cairn, illuminating it from within.

The Stainless Steel construction is skeletal, like a line drawing in space, making a pile of rocks that is very sturdy, and yet ephemeral and transparent, an image of a rock rather than a literal rock.

Forged and Fabricated stainless steel, electropolished.

Commissioned by the Washington State Arts Commission and Oak Harbor High School

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