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Fish artwork from Mark Metal Works

Mark Lagergren of Mark Metal Works has been a local artisan partner of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants for nearly two decades. We’ve featured his custom steel and glass artwork in many of our restaurants, including The Guild House.

Mark Metal Works is an art metal fabrication shop specializing in custom projects for commercial and residential clients. Mark collaborates with architects, designers and builders to deliver his creations known for intricate detail and craftsmanship.

Mark has been visiting Cordova, Alaska every summer for more than ten years, where he has spent much of his time in building a remote cabin and enjoying nature with family and friends. Cordova is home to one of the largest commercial fishing fleets in the Pacific Northwest and one of the best managed, wild sustainable salmon fisheries in the world. Over the years, Mark has grown to love and respect the hard working people of the beautifully quaint fishing community.

Mark was recently commissioned to create a work of art to be displayed on the new community center in Cordova. The new facility will be home to the museum, library, city services and auditorium. He is creating an aluminum sculpture of five salmon ranging in size from nine to 14 feet. The piece will serve as a local landmark, welcoming travelers and returning fishermen back to port.

The salmon sculptures are fabricated from thin, hand formed sections of aluminum welded together and ground to smooth finish and clear coated to protect them from the harsh marine environment. Mark wanted the sculpture to be abstract in material use and scale, but realistic in form and detail. He says the most challenging part of the project was forming the aluminum to look like fresh, sea-run salmon – the people of Cordova have an intimate knowledge of the fish that is their town’s livelihood, so he wanted to create a work of art they could identify with and be proud to have in their community.

Mark feels fortunate to have the opportunity to create a work of art that honors the diverse community and its long fishing tradition. The project is scheduled for completion early this summer.

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