VYFS to make arch of family treasures

Jeffrey Zheutlin of Vashon Youth & Family Services is looking to Island residents to add a bit of color to its PlaySpace this fall.

Plans for the building, now undergoing a renovation, include a sculpture garden and a mosaic archway leading to it. This is where the community comes in, according to Zheutlin, who is inviting Islanders to contribute pieces meaningful to them to be woven into the mosaic: a portion from a cup, a shard from a plate, a shell, beach glass, even an old baby spoon. Island artists, with help from staff at VYFS, will then create a community mosaic for the archway.

“As a person coming to the PlaySpace, you could see Grandma’s cup or plate,” Zheutlin said. “The idea is we’d all have ownership.”

The sculpture garden is a long-term goal, he noted, and it will be named for Marion Fitch, who was a founding board member of VYFS and active in several youth-related projects on the Island some years ago. The proposed archway will be near the parking area between two large trees, he said, and will lead into the front yard, where the sculpture garden will be located.

Zheutlin, the clinical director at VYFS and an artist, said his inspiration for the archway came from the Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi and his famous mosaic serpentine bench in Barcelona.

The sooner people donate their pieces the better, Zheutlin said, in order to give the artists ample time to work on it for the Oct. 15 grand opening of the building and dedication of the archway.

The PlaySpace, according to VYFS Executive Director Ken Maaz, will be more user-friendly when it re-opens for its usual activities at the end of September. Instead of the upstairs being one large open space, the building will have that large space and a new smaller one, where classes and groups will be able to meet in a more intimate setting.

“It will allow us to have more than one activity going at one time,” he said.

The area where playgroups meet did not lose any square footage, he said, and will benefit from the addition of new sinks — which will help when people do art projects there — and new play equipment.

“It will be a better space,” he said.


To donate a piece to the archway, put the item in a bag with the donor’s name on it. Family members can donate individual pieces and should be sure to label them accordingly. Drop-boxes are located at Vashon Youth & Family Services and the PlaySpace entrance.





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