It is extremely difficult for small towns to form a positive identity; one that will remind their citizens and visitors not only of their heritage, but also of their place in the contemporary scene.
But “the Burg” is steaming ahead, it seems.
Many people think of the town as a quaint little farming town, and not much else. Others, of course, identify it via a couple of outstanding businesses: jimgermanbar and Whoopemup Hollow Café.
A recent article in the Union-Bulletin highlights yet another feature of the town I hope all of the area will be proud of: the upcoming installation of two public art pieces.
Wayne Chabre’s sculpture sounds like a more traditional selection that features two early citizens of the town, and it will incorporate a tip of the hat to the farming industry that is the raison d’être of Waitsburg and the surrounding community.
But I will be even more excited to see the sculpture by Squire Broel. “The Waitsburg Monument” promises to add a contemporary touch to the downtown. If it is even closely as striking as the “Looking Back, Looking Forward” piece Broel installed in Walla Walla’s Heritage Park, with the support of ArtWalla, it will be something everyone in the Waitsburg area will be proud of.
Of course some people will be suspicious at first of such an unusual design. But nobody wants to live in the past, and a town like Waitsburg has certainly moved forward in the past decade. So I am sure this sculpture will not only salute the town’s past, just as Chabre’s will, but it will also, more importantly, highlight the reason Waitsburg will continue to thrive into the 21st century: the creative vision of its citizens.
Congratulations to Waitsburg, its citizens and the City Council members who made this brave decision to add important art to the town.