OAKHURST – Those traveling to and fro on Highway 41 near Gallery Row may notice a new addition to the area’s rich and eclectic art scene: a 16′ kinetic culmination of a dream known as the Sorensen Sculpture Project, developed by Sierra Art Trails and its Public Art Fund.
The strong and whimsical piece is the work of award-winning metal sculptor Chris M. Sorensen, an artist often referred to as Fresno’s “man of steel,” and was installed on Sunday, Apr. 21, at Gallery Row.
“It was an exciting, energetic and emotional day,” says Jonathan Bock, gallery owner and founder of Sierra Art Trails who helped spearhead the sculpture movement, figuratively and literally.
Considering the scope of this project, it came to fruition in a relatively short period of time.
“It has been a year since our project was conceived,” Bock notes. “It is clear to me how it ‘takes a village’ to complete any important task. While the job may seem simple at first, there are many concerns involved in the creation of any public art project.”
Chief among concerns was the complex installation of the sculpture, which required a crane to lift the pieces atop one another.
The design for a kinetic sculpture with balanced elements, strong lines and bright colors was created by Sorensen years ago and its existence today is the result of many helping hands along the way.
A tall blue base column raises high in the air, supporting a bright red hook shaped arm topped with a yellow crescent; like a weather vane, the red and yellow pieces turn in the wind. Bock is grateful to take a breather and enjoy the new view from Gallery Row.
“At the end of the day, watching the moon rise over the Sierra Foothills, I am very pleased to simply view the piece in place,” says Bock. “An outdoor work of art should integrate with its environment… and ours seems to be settling in nicely!”
Sierra Art Trails is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the arts, art education, and the many communities located in the Yosemite Foothills. The Sierra Art Trails Public Art Fund was established in 2008 and states, “public art beautifies, educates, and enhances our surroundings. It is a statement, indicating that a community cares about its culture.”
Friends and supporters can look forward to a public dedication, with date and time to follow.
“The final step in the process is the casting and installation of the commemorative plaque at the base of the sculpture,” explains Bock. “The Dedication Ceremony will be announced soon. If you are a contributor, an art advocate or just care about the arts, please join us!”