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This text was on the homepage until the Soul Salmon project closed on April 13, 2002. For more details of the project, read on. To learn about the glorious final auction, see the homepage.

Soul Salmon, a two and a half year public art project that has placed 81 eight-foot salmon sculptures from Vancouver, BC, to Portland, Oregon, culminates in a benefit gala auction of these unique creations at the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center in Seattle on Saturday April 13, 2002. The sculptures will be on view at the Odyssey beginning with a preview celebration on Saturday April 6 and continuing as a museum display until the night of the auction.

Soul Salmon brings together sponsors and artists, who work in tandem to raise awareness of endangered wild salmon. Sponsors include salmon recovery groups and other environmental action organizations, educators, merchant associations, and towns and cities around the Sound.

The project was the inspiration of Sara Mall Johani who invited friends and neighbors to conspire in its success. Sculptor Tom Jay was commissioned to create an eight-foot male and female Soul Salmon pair and Johani then sculpted an alevin (sac-fry baby salmon) to complete the family. Sponsors, who commissioned artists to embellish the salmon at will, had their choice of the three sculptures. The results included such creations as Puget Sound Explorer, Ali the Aluminum Salmon (both in photo, above), Salmon-Chanted Evening, Salish Sea Soul, Mojo, Wrong Way Finnegan, and Max a Million [link to salmon images].

The painted salmon may remind viewers of the Chicago "Cows on Parade." This whimsical project inspired the creators of Soul Salmon to envision a similar enterprise that would help save a species. "A century ago, nearly every river and stream in Washington had one or more salmon runs returning to it. These magnificent creatures were the keystone species of the whole watershed," artist Jay says. "If we lose the salmon, we won't know where in the world we are."

The Soul Salmon steering committee was excited to find that The Odyssey was available for the auction. "It's a perfect fit," says event co-chair Candice Gohn, "because the museum celebrates all aspects of the maritime trades. We'll be looking out on Elliott Bay and the city.

During cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, our guests will have time to meet the artists and sponsors, take a good look at the 23 salmon that we'll be auctioning, and enjoy the museum. Auctioneers Sharon and Dick Friel will work with emcee Bob Flick and begin the auction while we are having a gourmet dinner. But the biggest treat will be the presence of all of those enormous salmon sculptures. They are amazing. Individually, they take your breath away, but when you see them in a group, you feel like you're in a magical stream, a place of transformation and becoming."

In the meantime, you may see a school of salmon swimming by. Jay and Johani will be driving a trailer of 10 salmon blanks in early March and of finished salmon later through various Puget Sound communities.

Your help can make a real difference. Please help us spread the word. Maybe you know someone who would enjoy the glamour and excitement of the auction; one of these beautiful salmon sculptures might be perfect for their business or home. You can download this homepage and the auction invitation and send them to anyone you think might be interested. Contributions to the non-profit sponsors or to Soul Salmon would be much appreciated. Your contribution is fully tax deductible. Soul Salmon is a Washington nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status.

For more information email cgohn@olympus.net or call (360) 385-0907 to leave a message.

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