Jeff Humphrey

New Art Salutes Native American Ingenuity

Jeff Humphrey, Media Manager, 509.625.6308

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 9:59 a.m.

New artwork in Peaceful Valley frames the Spokane River, inviting visitors to look into our past.

“This sculpture represents a fishing weir, which were built into the rivers to funnel the fish into areas where they were easier to trap,” explained artist Sarah Thompson Moore.

The Spokane River Gorge is where Native Americans, especially the Spokane Tribe of Indians, used weirs to help catch and cure hundreds of migrating salmon.

The gorge offered protection from the wind and provided residents a place to be warmed by the winter’s sun.

“This was just a very well used area, a fishing encampment. I became fascinated by the fishing technologies that were used and the amount of salmon that used to come through here. So, I really wanted to do something that celebrated that ingenuity and technology,” Thompson Moore said of her sculpture.

Native Americans used boulders to anchor their wooden weirs in the river’s current.

In a nod to ecology, Thompson Moore made most of her sculpture from recycled oil drilling equipment.

“And then we’ll have some basalt boulders that will be placed randomly for seating where people can sit and enjoy the view of the river and the artwork,” predicted Thompson Moore.

Plans call for taking pictographs, designed by students from the Wellpinit School District, and sandblasting the images into the carefully placed boulders.

The pictographs will serve as the finishing touches on a sculpture Thompson Moore named “Convergence”.

“It’s exciting and it’s really cool to think about it being here a very long time and also, our human connection to the river, past, present and future,” Thompson Moore said with a smile.

“Convergence” was created with support from the Spokane Arts Commission.

You can find Thompson Moore’s artwork on the south side of the Sandifur Memorial Bridge in Peaceful Valley.

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