UP for Arts Donates “Forever Friends” Sculpture

The nonprofit volunteer arts group UP for Arts unveiled its newest piece of commissioned public art, a sculpture entitled “Forever Friends” by artist John Jewell. The sculpture commemorates Curran Apple Orchard’s 25th anniversary as a community park. 

UP for Arts President Debbie Scoles said the sculpture was inspired by Brewster, one of two horses belonging to the Curran family, the original owners of the orchard. The young girl feeding him an apple was modeled by Annie Stafki, Jewell’s granddaughter. Jewell spent months researching thoroughbred racehorses and old photos of Brewster to ensure the accuracy of the sculpture. He was assisted by equine consultant Robin Peterson and worked with Firebird Bronze Foundry to create the final artwork.  

After several years of fundraising and grant writing, UP for Arts reached its $134,000 goal to acquire the artwork, which is being donated to the City. The group would like to acknowledge all those who helped bring the project to fruition, including: Grants from the Taxpayers of WA State, the Gottfried & Mary Fuchs Foundation and the Florence B. Kilworth Foundation, Sound Community Bank, New Tacoma Cemeteries & Funeral Home, Team Insurance, GFWC Chambers Bay Women’s Club, McPhee Dental Group and more than 120 individual donors.  

Others providing invaluable assistance include: Model Annie Stafki, Mary Jane Dubbs, United Church of University Place, University Place Presbyterian Church, Mount Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church, Dale Kvamme, U.P. Police Chief Greg Premo and former U.P. Police Chief Mike Blair, West Pierce Fire and Rescue Chief Scott Adams along with Lance Nelson and Todd Rhody, State Sen. Steve O’Ban, State Reps. Christine Kilduff and Mari Leavitt, former State Rep. Dick Muri, the University Place Library, City of University Place, Anthem Coffee, local artists  and countless volunteers. Special thanks also to Firebird Bronze Foundry, Thompson Electrical Constructors, Concrete Impressions, Inc, Campanoli Crane Service and Winsor Fireform Graphic Tiles.  

Although the official dedication of “Forever Friends” has been delayed due to COVID-19 concerns, people can visit the sculpture which is visible from Grandview Drive near Curran Orchard’s central gate. For more information about “Forever Friends,” including miniature bronze replicas for sale, please visit www.UPforArts.org.