LISTENING PROJECT: Art in Such A Place

Polly Lee came in to talk with Susan Christensen about her life as an artist here in Petersburg. Polly describes the Civic Improvement Committee she joined to beautify the town back in the 1950s and the daunting mission they were first given by the City Council.

Polly tells Susan how the Civic Improvement Committee became the Petersburg Arts and Crafts guild, and eventually the Arts Council. She describes her early  life as an artist, teaching ceramics as a young mother, with a baby in her arms. Then she describes many of the local art projects she either designed or collaborated on including the “Fisk” fountain at the Clausen Museum, the concrete impressions in the sidewalks and the “Sea Song” which adorns the municipal building. She talks about fabricating “Sea Song” with Ronn Buschmann, who she describes as “The Nureyev of the Band Saw”.

Polly has been an artist and champion of the arts and mentor for many people throughout her life in Petersburg. In this interview she talks about her philosophy of art and the importance of art in our lives and community.

In Japan, “Living National Treasure” is a term for those designated as keepers of important intangible cultural properties. Polly Lee is certainly one of Petersburg’s Living Treasures.