The Arlington Arts Council has announced the acquisition of a piece of sculpture that also makes music.
The AAC has purchased an outdoor musical instrument as the first blossom in a full-bloom Sound Garden, to be located along the Centennial Trail in downtown Arlington, between Legion Park and the labyrinth.
The plan is to add more instruments - drums, bells, pipes and others - that are tuned harmonically and will provide an opportunity for children and adults to create beautiful music together.
The Swirl, the Sound Garden's first piece, cost $6,000 including shipping. A Boy Scout is installing it as part of his Eagle Scout project.
The Rotary Club of Arlington has offered a challenge of $2,500 toward the next instrument. If the AAC can match the pledge, it will have $5,000 to purchase a second musical instrument, and maybe even more.
The Sound Garden has been on the AAC's wish list for several years, and the council board selected it from the top three favorites at the 2011 Fall into Art Auction last October.
The auction raised almost $10,000. The Swirl is entirely paid for by those funds.
The Swirl is like a xylophone, with vertical tubes that are mounted on a structure, tuned for harmonic sound and created for outdoor durability. Along with sounding good, it also has an attractive sculptural presence.
A backdrop to the Sound Garden will feature an enlargement of a painting by an AAC member who died several years ago. Jim Walker's graphic illustration of traditional musicians playing banjos and basses will create a bright and colorful setting for a growing Sound Garden into the future.
The Swirl is one of several outdoor musical instruments available through a playground equipment distributor in Issaquah.