EVERETT — The next time you visit Evergreen Arboretum & Gardens at Legion Park, you’ll find a new statue.
“We Rise,” by Everett sculptor Constance Jones, is a bronze sculpture of a woman’s head and torso, her arms outstretched. With the added height from its base, it towers over most visitors at 7 feet tall.
The Zonta Club of Everett commissioned and donated the statue in honor of the club’s 90 years of service, selecting the arboretum as its permanent home. The Everett Parks Department installed the sculpture in the Woodland Garden & Fernery.
The gift to the city was made official by the Everett City Council on Sept. 23.
“Our mission is empowering women and girls to achieve their highest potential,” Zonta Club President Kelsey Taylor said. “The artist was better able to envision our idea than we could have ever imagined. It truly is a symbol of empowering women in our community.”
Taylor said the Everett chapter of Zonta International envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognized as human rights — one where every woman can reach her potential.
“Zonta works with women to help them achieve goals, and I looked at that as stretching and reaching their goals,” Jones said. “The figure is a woman who is reaching.”
The base of the sculpture is a basalt stone that Jones also shaped to resemble a woman’s figure. “It’s her foundation for projecting upward, and stretching beyond what she would normally be able to do,” she said.
Jones worked on the sculpture for over a year. Even with COVID-19, she managed to stay on schedule.
She said the project was a stretch for her. Its size, for one, was a challenge. The base weighs 1,300 pounds; the bronze sculpture itself adds another 200 pounds.
She said creating it out of bronze also was challenging, because she mostly sculpts with stone.
Jones, a member of the Northwest Sculpture Association, has been sculpting since 2005. She works out of her home studio in Everett. She has a collection of rocks in her yard for future projects.
“We Rise,” which is 3½ feet tall from hips to fingertips, is Jones’ first public sculpture. It’s set atop a 3-foot stone base.
She explained that she has always been artistic, though she’s never tried to make a career out of it. In addition to sculpture, Jones also dabbles in painting, printmaking, photography and poetry.
Jones served as a director at Community House Mental Health in Seattle, before retiring in 2015.
“I had a fulfilling career,” said Jones, who moved to Everett just over a year ago. “I have been more interested in the creative process and experience. This artistic focus has informed and enriched my life. This has been my life’s vocation.”
“We Rise” is the only realistic figurative sculpture in the Evergreen Arboretum’s sculpture collection.
There are now 14 sculptures installed in the 3.5 acre arboretum at the American Legion Memorial Park in Everett.
Taylor said that the sculpture not only commemorates and celebrates Zonta Club of Everett’s 90th anniversary, it also marks the centennial of Zonta International.
“Seeing it after a year of anticipation and excitement, it was really, really breathtaking,” Taylor said.
Jones said she was missing her sculpture after it was installed, so she visited it at the arboretum. Jones, who has four grown children, said it felt like she had sent another kid off to college.
“A woman came up with her son and started taking photographs of the piece, and I thought, ‘That’s it. She’s got her own life now.’”
Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; email@example.com; @sarabruestle.
If you go
The Evergreen Arboretum & Gardens, 145 Alverson Blvd., Everett, is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Call 425-257-8597 or go to www.evergreenarboretum.com for more information.