“Lavender Afternoon” is one of the photo stories Sequim artist and educator Marina Shipova has created through her work. She was chosen as the Art Fellow for the City of Sequim’s “Sequim Understory” project to help convey Sequim’s story to residents. Photo courtesy of Marina Shipova

“Lavender Afternoon” is one of the photo stories Sequim artist and educator Marina Shipova has created through her work. She was chosen as the Art Fellow for the City of Sequim’s “Sequim Understory” project to help convey Sequim’s story to residents. Photo courtesy of Marina Shipova

City surveys go live for downtown corner input

Artist chosen to share photo stories about Sequim

Community members can now offer input on the development of Centennial Place, the northeast corner of Sequim Avenue and Washington Street, as part of the two-year “Sequim Understory” project.

Find surveys online at sequimwa.gov/983/Sequim-Understory. City of Sequim residents will also receive a survey with their May utility bill, which can be mailed back to “Sequim Civic Center, Attention Sequim Understory, 152 W. Cedar St., Sequim, WA 98382,” or dropped off between the double doors of the Civic Center’s main entrance.

Surveys may also be available at certain events, as state guidelines allow for gatherings, city officials said. Survey deadlines are Tuesday, Aug. 31.

Questions ask about your involvement with the space, what features you’d like there, any insight you can provide about Sequim, and general information about you.

The intent is to find a purpose for the space that city councilors agreed to purchase in 2013, the city’s centennial year, city staff said.

Sequim’s arts coordinator Aurora Lagattuta previously said “Sequim Understory” follows a process called “Creative Placemaking,” the use of creative strategies for equitable community planning and development where people look at the nouns, such as a tree or fountain, and the verbs, such as “how do you want to feel” and “what do you want to do here.”

For more information about the project, visit sequimcityarts.com/understory.

Sequim photographer Shipova elected

Marina Shipova, a Sequim resident for 20 years and Peninsula College professor, was selected by the City Arts Advisory Commission as the project’s Art Fellow.

She’ll engage with the public to develop a photographic story of local interest with digital artistry using what she calls “photo stories.”

“I will bring a taste of present and past through the depiction of local families, events, businesses and landmarks,” she wrote in her application.

Shipova, a classically trained artist and photographer, says she has taught graphic design, photography and art in Port Angeles for most of her time in the area.

She’ll develop a presentation to share during the First Friday Art Walk on Nov. 5, tentatively from the Civic Center.

City staff said some of the residents Shipova will photograph so far include multiple generations of farmers, First Nation residents, and ballerinas.

Shipova said one of her students encouraged her to apply, and her aim is to find people “uniquely connected to Sequim and the Olympic Peninsula with a strong connection to the land and its history.” According to her website, Shipova said she was born and raised in Russia with her work originating from the “tradition of Classic Portrait painting,” and she finds digital photography “transforms the perception of image creation and pushes the boundaries of reality to new and infinite heights.”

“That new digital reality is my canvas, allowing me to create my very own visual and conceptual world emerging through the intersection between painting, photography and computer graphics,” she writes.

City staff said Shipova was one of two artists selected but the second artist did not agree to the terms of the project’s contract.

Previously, Lagattuta said artists aren’t involved in the actual redesign of the corner space but they “help us create a better conversation about Sequim.”

In the late fall, city staff and stakeholders will look at surveys and the artists’ feedback, she said, and about 10 options will be selected for Sequim city council to consider for Centennial Place.

Depending on the council’s feedback, city staff could send the options back out to the public in 2022 to consider.

As for her thoughts on Centennial Place, Shipova said she’s “pretty open to what works best for people.”

“I’m very flexible when it comes to format,” she said.

Learn more about Shipova at sequimcityarts.com/art-fellow. For more about these projects, call 360-683-4908.

Marina Shipova, a 20-year Sequim resident and Peninsula College professor, will work on creating “photo stories” this summer and fall of Sequim’s story interviewing and photographing community members. It’s part of the “Sequim Understory” project to seek how people want to feel at Centennial Place, and what they’d like to see there. Photo courtesy of Marina Shipova

Marina Shipova, a 20-year Sequim resident and Peninsula College professor, will work on creating “photo stories” this summer and fall of Sequim’s story interviewing and photographing community members. It’s part of the “Sequim Understory” project to seek how people want to feel at Centennial Place, and what they’d like to see there. Photo courtesy of Marina Shipova

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