Michael Salazar has been a Seattle Seahawks fan since the football team formed in the 1970s.
And he’s been an artist even longer — for most of his life.
So it’s fitting that two of his passions are blending together now in a new piece.
Salazar, 53, of Richland, is creating a clay bust of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
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It’s nearly done. Salazar will be putting on finishing touches as part of a sculpting demonstration during a community art event May 9 at the Reach center in Richland.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is free with Reach admission. It’s part of the Tri ART for Giving art exhibition and fundraiser that runs for the next two weeks.
Salazar said he admires Wilson and imagines the quarterback one day will be part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Inductees are immortalized with sculptures, and with Salazar’s bust, “I’m foreseeing what is to come,” the Richland artist said.
Although Salazar is a seasoned artist, he only took up sculpting seriously a few years back.
He’s been a quick study, though, and is work is featured around the Tri-Cities.
He recently upgraded his sculpting work space, converting a building in his backyard into a studio.
He was doing his sculpting in the kitchen. “My wife — she’s glad. Now I can fling clay all over the place and work fast,” he said.
Salazar said he’s not sure what he’ll do with the Wilson bust when it’s done. Perhaps he’ll sell it.
Since Wilson wasn’t available to model in person for the piece, Salazar had to rely on photographs.
“If he sat for me, it would be perfect,” Salazar said. But the piece looks remarkably like the quarterback, even in its unfinished state.
That’s the idea. “I’m an impersonator, I guess,” Salazar said. “But instead of impersonating somebody’s voice, I do it with clay.”
To reach Salazar, email firstname.lastname@example.org.