Wendy the Welder.

Wendy the Welder - Striding Cubist Lady Worker Statue

Field review by the editors.

Vancouver, Washington

During World War II, 28,000 "Wendy the Welders" -- cousins of the better-known Rosie the Riveter -- worked in Vancouver's Kaiser Shipyard. They turned steel plates into troop transports and aircraft carriers at a staggering pace, averaging nearly one a week. And when the war ended they all lost their jobs to returning servicemen.

Stainless steel Wendy is depicted as a giantess, striding across the dam that powered the shipyards, her arms pumping with confidence, leaving behind a home to join a cargo ship waiting to be assembled. She is also invisible. Her blocky cubist coveralls and red polka-dot scarf are filled with nothing but air, while a welding hood lies in a laundry basket at her feet. It's a lot of symbolism for one statue.

61 years after the end of the war, Wendy was built by a group of six local women artists. The statue is, appropriately, welded, and it's hoped that she will be even more sturdy than the ships assembled in the Kaiser Shipyard. She's already lasted longer than the Wendy the Welder jobs.

Wendy the Welder - Striding Cubist Lady Worker Statue

Address:
1919 SE Columbia River Dr., Vancouver, WA
Directions:
I-5 exit 1A onto Lewis and Clark Hwy. Quickly take exit 1. Drive south on Columbia Shores Blvd to the parking lot at the end. Walk down to the Columbia River Waterfront Trail, and keep walking east.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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September 19, 2014

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