Nature's gallery

Where artwork thrives like summer blooms

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Cedar Basket by Lee Imonen

Cedar Basket by Lee Imonen, at Westcott Bay

John Granen

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If you want to keep up with the art scene but can't stand the thought of forfeiting even an hour of summer's all-too-brief sunshine, it's time to check out San Juan Island's Westcott Bay.

With more than 100 contemporary sculptures sprinkled around 19 acres of ungroomed forest, meadow, and wetlands, the four-year-old sculpture park is proof positive that when art intersects with nature, each is enriched by the other.

Cheerfully whimsical is the mood here. Take John Hoover's Seaweed People, which recasts human forms as wisps of bronze. Appropriately, it's installed in a pond. Like nature's own quirks and surprises, you can't predict where Westcott Bay's sculptures will pop up ― or how they'll have changed since yesterday.

Plein air Westcott Bay ($3 donation suggested; www.wbay.org or 360/370-5050) is open dawn to dusk daily. From Friday Harbor, take Roche Harbor Rd. west 10 miles to Westcott Bay Reserve.

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