Why Is There Sidewalk Poetry on High School Road?

By Dana Drugmand

Sidewalk Poetry on High School Rd, Bainbridge Island

The above verse is just one of several “poetry panels” that the City of Bainbridge Island first installed into the sidewalk along High School Road between Madison and Ferncliff more than 20 years ago. According to the Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council, the city allocated funding for the five sidewalk panels as part of the 1 Percent for Art program. The panels were completed in 1993 for an initial cost of $6,952.

The 5-foot-by-5-foot concrete panels set in cement squares feature design elements related to local history, as well as poetic verses. According to project records, the art is made of dyed concrete parts cast using innovative techniques to create a “portrait” of the island. Short poetry phrases from two local poets, John Davis and Margi Berger, frame each section. The design was done by Carolyn Law with fabrication by Benson Shaw.

The public art program, placed on hiatus during the economic downturn, was reinstated by the city in May. Bainbridge Island Arts & Humanities Council will once again manage the program.