KAMA’s Pump Station Mural decorates the pump station located just off First Street, in between the Columbia Inn and the Atomic Cafe, in downtown Kalama, Washington.
KAMA members worked together to create a piece of art that gives a nod to Kalama’s history; in particular, its unique strawberry heritage. The mural is strikingly bright, eye-catching, artistic and just plain fun!
The Kalama Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate the Pump Station Mural on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.
Here’s what’s on the mural:
The story of Kalama’s strawberry heritage is pictured. This heritage originated in the first half of the 20th century in the tiny community of Cloverdale on the southern outskirts of Kalama. Home to Finnish families who grew and harvested strawberries, the community gathered to celebrate the strawberry harvest each year. Over time the celebration grew into a strawberry festival, complete with a strawberry queen and her court! The festival’s centerpiece was a giant strawberry shortcake.
Depicted are strawberry fields, strawberry pickers, a giant strawberry shortcake, and even a strawberry shortcake recipe!
Surrounding the mural you can see local green landscapes and trees, a sunset, and river vistas much like are seen in Kalama, along with borders of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. There are hidden figures on all sides (can you find them?) including Edward and Bella from the Twilight saga, Bigfoot, Little Red Riding Hood, the Kalama Chinooks logo, an air ship, a honeybee, and a mythological Wendingo.
The North side features a giant dragonfly and is a great place to take a selfie picture!
The East side features futuristic animal blacksmiths, tinkers and silversmiths, like the racoons on the starship flyer in Guardians of the Galaxy!
The jersey barriers surrounding the pump station have been decorated in a stylized fashion meant to honor Kalama’s Hawaiian heritage. They feature hibiscus flowers, the state flower of Hawaii, and some honeybees.
KAMA president Terri Van Matre says that artists often experience difficulty finding opportunities to create and display art in the local area, and she also believes in nurturing and uplifting the community. She worked with Kalama’s Public Works Director Kelly Rasmussen, who expressed support for the project, particularly in giving the mundane pump box a much-needed artistic makeover!
In addition to Van Matre, contributors include Max Wade, Erin Bailey, John Holman, Shirley Sacha, Amber Moon Leigh, Kathy Robinson, Tawnya Reuter, Marie Wise, Jeanne Geig and Nicole Givens.
Special thanks to the City of Kalama for enthusiastically supporting this project, and to Terri Van Matre for her inspiration and dedication to making Kalama a destination for art in the Pacific Northwest.
Stop by the mural to admire the art and take pictures. Share them on social with the tag #kalamawapumpmural