Pencil sculpture adds character to Everett corner

EVERETT – Four giant pencils dangled in the chilly air above Hoyt Avenue and California Street. Weighing 505 pounds, the green, red, yellow and turquoise pencils arrived without their erasers.

Heidi Heimarck was walking her dog past on Tuesday morning and stopped to see what was going on.

“I really love it!” she said. “What I like about it is that it encourages readers and artists. This is an inspiration piece.”

That’s the kind of response downtown developer Craig Skotdal was hoping to hear.

The new sculpture fits in with the Library Place development and its big books sculpture outside the Everett Library, made by the same artist, Mukilteo’s Dillon Works.

“We wanted to do another (sculpture), to extend library place” said Craig Skotdal, president of Skotdal Real Estate. He wanted vibrant colors to make the street more unique.

The idea came from Skotdal’s father, Art Skotdal, while he was traveling with his wife Marianne in California.

“We saw something that looked similar,” Art Skotdal said. “We wanted to do something people would like, and we do like this.”

The 10-foot-tall sculpture was standing in its new home outside the Elks Lodge after about a half hour of work. That included attaching the erasers.

Craig Skotdal said he approached Dillon Works with the concept and wanted it to be life-like. Around 12 employees worked on it for about six to eight weeks, starting on Sept. 15, a week after the city’s approval.

“The sculpture has been made by sheets of steel folded onto shapes, with automotive paint and clear coat on top” said Daniel Lorentz, of Dillon Works.

Dillon Works president Mike Dillon added that the sculpture is made with stainless steel to avoid rust over the years. They also came up with a fake brand name for the pencils, because using a known brand would have caused a problem with trademarks. The “Cal Hoyt Pencil Co.” pencil are numbered “2802” in tribute to the sculpture location.

Craig Skotdal said the sculpture supports the art transformation of Hoyt Avenue, and gives families another reason to come downtown with their children.

“Parents have a lot of fun taking pictures with their kids in front of public art,” he said.

He wanted the sculpture to be in place before Thanksgiving, to give people the opportunity to enjoy it for the holiday weekend. On Saturday downtown businesses are offering discounts for the Holiday Stroll, and the new sculpture will be an added attraction.

“This is something for the community to make it more special,” he said.

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