Conceived as “Gates to the City”, drivers encounter this public work on south side of the road as they enter Ephrata Washington from the even smaller town of George, Washington. The piece was commissioned by the Washington Arts Organization and funded by the state legislature in the 1990’s, as a means of spreading art into rural communities.
The piece was loosely conceived by Ellen Sollod (grant recipient) but executed by Rhodes who both gathered the material and set each stone. The walls express the complex layered geology of the nearby Columbia River Gorge, whose violent narrative has been revealed by the Colombia river flood and the receding glacier of the Miocene time period.
In the decades since the sculpture was completed, suburban lawn and annual flower beds have been added. The city fathers have added these touches, including a more traditional sign announcing your arrival to town. The stark, indigenous desert scrub of the original landscape is now gone…
The sculpture is completed by two other “gates” that announce arrival from other directions entering town. See “Ephrata columns” under the Public Art Tab for Rhodes contribution to the second of these sculptures.