Sculptor Louise McDowell at St. Edwards Lodge – Photo Montage Below Narrative

It has been my honor to have worked with Louise, in various studios, since the day we all crossed trails at Bellevue Community College, where Ray Jensen was overseeing sculpting and casting.

Louise left Bellevue College after some time to take over as Director of the Pratt Fine Arts Metal/Fabrication Foundry in Seattle. We followed – helping her construct one of the most productive artist foundries on the west coast.

Prominent Northwest artists Lawney Reyes ( RIP ), Bob Cooke, Georgia Gerber, Bob Herdick, Marvin Herard, Val Laigo (RIP ), and other accomplished professionals cast wax to bronze bi-weekly under the watchful eye of Louise. 

She always wanted everyone’s castings to turn out perfectly.

Many pieces of sculpture, now on public display across the country, were cast in the Seattle Pratt facility when this eclectic group of artists came together for a few years.

Louise has had a studio in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle for the last decade or so, where she has created many commissioned pieces.

The following is what Louise says about her work;

“…I am a figurative artist. As a sculptor, I create environments and focal points within environments. My work explores the dynamics of living things as well as abstract compositions.

My work creates a sense of movement, energy going in different directions simultaneously. It is all about movement and transformation. Interaction with the work happens on a personal level. I seek to inspire observers, stimulate imaginative thought, and affirm the human experience.

I believe that art can be a force for transforming society. Art plays a vital part in our future, drawing attention to the environment, social justice, and the love of life. I want people to think about the world’s future, our connection within it, and our ability to affect real positive change…”

The photos below are from today, 2 September 2022, a visit to St. Edwards Lodge in Kenmore, Washington, to visit the gallery and see Louise’s art.
A bit of history:

“The land where The Lodge at St. Edward State Park currently sits was first purchased by Bishop Edward John O’Dea in the late 1920s. He donated the 366-acre plot to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle for the building of Saint Edward Seminary, where young men would be educated for the priesthood. The seminary was designed by notable Seattle architect John Graham Sr. and completed in 1931. His firm, John Graham & Company, is responsible for many notable buildings in Seattle and throughout the country, including the iconic Space Needle.

The seminary served as an important facility until 1957, when enrollment started to decline following the opening of Saint Thomas the Apostle Seminary. It continued operating until 1976, fulfilling its educational duties for forty-five proud years. Though the seminary was no longer needed, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen had a vision of preserving the grounds as a state park, having fallen in love with the area’s natural beauty as a student at Saint Edward Seminary. Rather than sell the property to the highest bidder, he worked with the state to make his dream possible.

In 1977, the property and the majority of the land were sold to the State of Washington to become Saint Edward State Park. The park’s enchanting trails, lake views, and gorgeous fir, cedar, and maple trees drew plenty of love from locals, and the building itself became a beloved symbol of the area. However, after not getting much use over the years, the building was in need of a sizable renovation.

In 2017, Daniels Real Estate entered into a public-private partnership to preserve and transform the main building into The Lodge at St. Edward Park. A meticulous restoration of the exterior façade, including the roof and all original windows was completed, and the interior design was transformed to evolve the seminary building into a Pacific Northwest-inspired lodge, preserving the iconic landmark building for generations to come.

The Lodge at St. Edward State Park was born, and now it’s ready to introduce guests to the area’s fascinating history and pristine natural splendor.

Owners Kevin and Mary Daniels now preside over The Lodge as hosts, and their unique inspiration draws from some of the finest hotel experiences throughout their world travels. Led by their vision, The Lodge is so much more than a hotel, but rather a deep sense of place and belonging, locally inspired and rooted in the community.”

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