Sculpture inspires sesquicentennial music contest


Walla Walla’s new sesquicentennial sculpture in the works has inspired a sesqui-song contest.

ArtWalla, the nonprofit group that promotes the arts and is the driving force behind the community’s public art collection, is putting on a contest to find the best song to go with the new contemporary monument slated for Heritage Park.

The organization will offer a $300 prize for the best song based on pre-written lyrics inspired by Squire Broel’s 12 1/2-foot sculpture, “Looking Back, Looking Forward.”

ArtWalla board member David Walk was inspired by Broel’s description of his piece, slated to be unveiled later this fall, and went to work on lyrics.

“Squire’s proposal to receive the commission for the work contained a drawing of the sculpture and words describing what individual facets of the work represented,” Walk explained in the announcement. “Those words leapt off the page to me as lyrics, and with just a little crafting they are contained in the song ‘Looking Back, Looking Forward.’”

Local musician Rick Phillips of the Walla Walla Recording Club will promote the contest among club members as well as the general public. Phillips and Walk will serve as judges of the contest, as will Broel, who has given his support for the contest.

“I love the lyrics and the whole concept of the song competition,” he wrote to ArtWalla.

Musicians working in any style are encouraged to compose and record their own version of “Looking Back, Looking Forward” and submit an MP3 audio file to Phillips personally or via email to by Nov. 18. Entries will be posted on the ArtWalla Facebook site and may be featured at the Nov. 30 Sesquicentennial Gala.


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