‘Newsboy’ sculpture unveiled
By Dori O’Neal, Herald staff writer -September 4, 2009
When it comes to hawking newspapers, the first thing most people think of is the paperboy from yesteryear.
You know the one. He sported a Gatsby hat and wool knickers and stood on street corners waving the latest edition while hollering, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”
The Downtown Kennewick Merchants Association thought the same thing and paid homage to that historic newsboy by adding its latest public sculpture — aptly titled Newsboy — to the corner of Dayton Street and Kennewick Avenue.
The unveiling was Thursday and kicked off Kennewick’s monthly art walk festivities.
The 4-foot-tall bronze was created by artist Bridgette Mongeon of Texas. She has two other similar newsboy sculptures on display in Austin, Texas, and in North Carolina, said Tim Dalton, executive director of the merchants association.
“We wanted to add a piece of public art like this to our collection because of the historic aspect the newspaper has played here for many, many years,” Dalton said.
The statue is a block south of the Tri-City Herald which has been in downtown Kennewick since 1948, when it moved into a former cannery.
The sculpture depicts a young man holding a newspaper high over his head. The newspaper’s flag reads “Tri-City Herald” above the top story about a Grapefest celebration.
“Grapefest started in 1910,” Dalton said. “It’s not the most continuous festival in the Tri-Cities but it is the oldest so it seemed appropriate to have it be the lead story on the newspaper.”
Several dozen people gathered Thursday for the unveiling as Mark Blotz, president of the downtown association, touted the volunteerism that went into the planning of the project.
Nicole Stewart, 33, lives across the street from the sculpture’s new home and likes the idea of having a piece of art to look at from her kitchen window each day.
“It’s truly awesome,” she said. “Not many places offer this kind of outdoor art.”
Brothers Daxton, 6, and Clayton Doty, 11, thought the sculpture was cool, but didn’t find it inspiring enough to sign up for a paper route, they said.
The sculpture cost $22,000. About $10,000 was raised by the merchant association through fundraisers. The Herald donated $3,500 with several businesses and private citizens donating the rest, Dalton said.
Blotz hopes to see every corner in downtown Kennewick with a piece of public art one day. The downtown area now has eight pieces.
“To have one on every corner would be wonderful,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes.”