1/3/2020 - The canoe wave sculpture located at the west entrance into Lewiston is about more than art...

Visible to all residents and visitors entering Lewiston from the Interstate Bridge, this sculpture relates to the historical significance of the Lewis and Clark expedition and its relationship to the Nez Perce Tribe.

While this piece of art has made a big impact in the expression of our community’s rich history, it was only a small part of a large improvement project for the west main entrance into Lewiston.

“The goal for this location was to create conversation and celebrate our rich history,” Parks and Recreation Director Tim Barker said.

In 2010, the City received a $500,000 grant from the Idaho Transportation Department with the stipulation that 10% of the funds had to be used for artwork.
The artist selected for this project was Christopher Fennell. Fennell, an engineer and sculptor, had built several waves out of reclaimed materials prior to this piece. The canoe wave is made from 80% recycled materials. While some of the boats were donated, most had to be purchased from previous owners.

Standing more than two stories tall and over sixty feet long, the sculpture is made from over 50 aluminum canoes welded together with an internal frame that Fennell built on-site.
Learn more about Christopher Fennell and see his work.

In addition to the artwork, the completion of the West Main Enhancement Project in 2013 provided the ADA accessible pedestrian/bicycle path from Normal Hill and downtown to the levee trail system wave and steelhead mural, a new welcome sign at the entrance, upgrades to the retaining wall, installation of pond aerators, and irrigation and landscaping. The entire project budget totaled $904,000 comprised of grant funding, in-kind labor and equipment matches, Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Funding and $55,000 in City cash.

“There’s still more to be done in order to complete the original project vision which includes enhanced pedestrian access and children’s artwork,” Barker said.

The Idaho Transportation Department, Department of Housing and Urban Development, United States Army Corps of Engineers and Nez Perce Tribe were all partners in this project.