On a sunny day, natural light pours through the blown-glass discs of ‘A Salish Welcome,’ coating the entrance to the recently preserved Salmon Bay Nature Area in a rainbow display.
Created by sculptor Marvin Oliver in 2010 to mark the preservation of Salmon Bay and the surrounding areas as natural habitats, the aluminum, glass and bronze statue welcomes visitors to a time when the bay was an essential part of local survival. The 16-foot statue takes the form of a brass figure wearing a Salish (a Native American tribe indigenous to the area) ceremonial robe holding a large disc skyward. The disc consists of two stylized, aluminum salmon circling the glass discs which represent their eggs. The base of the statue is made of stone covered in corroded metal which also features reliefs of swimming salmon.
The figure of ‘A Salish Welcome’ faces the Salmon Bay Ship Canal where salmon migrate through the fish ladder of the nearby Chittenden Locks, reminding visitors to the bay and its nature area of the important world just beneath the waves.