Description of the Location
By Shea Hunter
In 1959, the year of its complete, Harrsion V. Blass’ colorful mosaic mural was a proud focal point adorning the front of the new Science building on the Olympic College campus. Its location on the building was strategic. Hanging midway up the front wall that separates the two pairs of main entrances the large art piece was easily seen by viewers near and far. An article featured in the Bremerton Sun newspaper January 24, 1955 announced that the mosaic would be “…mounted in front of a reflecting pool and surrounded by harmonizing pieces of sculpture, also made by Blass.” Today (2007), cement remains on the ground under the mosaic, proving that a reflecting pool once existed, however no evidence has been found of any complementary statuary.
How was the location of the mosaic chosen? Blass was ultimately responsible for deciding its placement on the Science building. On November 14, 1955, a year before the mural was begun, an article in the Bremerton Sun claimed that the mosaic was “…being made for the lounge of the new Science building.” One year later, shortly after the construction process had begun, the Ranger Roundup (the Olympic College campus newspaper) printed that the mosaic mural would “…adorn the blank outside wall space on the south end of the community room for the Science building.” There it was built and there it has stayed.
The Olympic College campus is located in the growing city of Bremerton in Kitsap County, Washington, and as the city grows and expands, so does the campus. In the year 2000, the Haselwood Library was built in a lot adjacent to what is now the Math/Science building, and the long standing home of the mosaic. This large addition adjusted the focal point of the Science building by limiting its visibility. No longer does the mosaic occupy a central location, but rather hangs facing a large side wall of the library with only a narrow sidewalk between them. Thus, today the mosaic’s glory is more hidden than it was in its past. Additionally, the reflecting pool below the mosaic is now home to foliage and flowers as the reflecting pool required upkeep and was replaced by landscaping.
In its day, the central location of Blass’ mosaic completed its visual package. It proudly hung centered on the building for all to view and enjoy. While the passing of time has produced developmental changes that have perhaps lessened the desirability of its location, today’s students still pass it by on their way to class or gaze upon its vibrant colors from the second story library windows, a reminder of the by-gone days when its location was front and center on the Science building.
Ranger Roundup, Vol. 8, no. 15, page 4, February 10, 1956
Ranger Roundup, Vol. 12, no. 4, page 10 and 4, October 24, 1958
Bremerton Sun, January 24, 1955
Location of the Mosaic: Global Positioning System (GPS)
By Norman deGuzman
The information below is data obtained using a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver for the location of the mosaic. Accuracy is within 15 meters.
Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Coordinates:
UTM Zone: 10T