Soon, a Viking statue for Viking Avenue

POULSBO — Mayor Becky Erickson has wanted a bridge troll for “Little Norway” for a while.

“It is a Scandinavian tradition that there are trolls on bridges,” she said in an interview in March. However, after scoping out possible locations and realizing a bridge troll would either be hidden beneath the bridge or cause traffic problems above, the mayor decided a Viking would be better — a Viking for Viking Avenue.

Erickson has asked local artist Bill Austin to find the right design — whether welcoming or fierce is still to be determined. Austin gave an update to the City Council Wednesday, and said he is ready to start tomorrow.

Austin recruited a sculptor friend, Mark Gale, to draw up the design for approval and forge the Viking. Gale is the artist responsible for the rockwork inside the Marine Science Center, and recently finished working on a seven-story mountain for DisneyWorld.

The plan is to sculpt a 12- to 14-foot tall, 20- to 30-foot wide Viking, and place it on the corner of Finn Hill Road and Viking Avenue. The city has been discussing a bridge beautification project since 2008.

Erickson said no tax-payer dollars will be used for this project. The Borgen Beautification Fund, an endowment, will cover the estimated $20,000 cost. She said she has only received positive feedback about this idea for more public art in Poulsbo.

“In my mind, that’s what public art should be, a celebration of life,” she said.



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