The sculpture installed at the Sweet Shop Gearhart titled Trantler is based on combining two predominant elements in Gearhart: the wild elk that roam the region, and the timber industry that has been a cornerstone in the Pacific Northwest since 1848. Oregon is one of the world’s great tree-growing areas so it comes natural to celebrate its contribution to the state’s economy as well as the majestic beauty of our forests. Additionally, the elk herd near Gearhart has become quite prevalent - growing from about thirty a decade ago to around one hundred and twenty members today.
Both the timber industry and the elk herd have been sources of discussion within the community. The conversation regarding the environmental impacts of clear cutting versus its potential to diversify the local ecosystem is in debate. Concurrently, the dialogue around the elk herd being a charming attraction as opposed to the wild life creating safety issues still stands strong. This sculpture positions itself as an unbiased piece of artwork, aiming to observe the challenging aspects of human’s relationship with nature, and to promote critical thinking towards the connection between preserving our planet and protecting a healthy economy.
The goal of the project is to bring residents and visitors together in hopes of more interaction and collaboration between each other and foster unity by showcasing varying ideologies within a community in a peaceful manner.
The blended form of an elk antler and a tree is 12-feet-high and marks Gearhart’s immersion into the Oregon Coast Public Art Trail. The Sweet Shop was identified in 2018 by members of the Clatsop County Arts Commission and volunteers working with the Oregon Coast Public Art Trail project as a potential site for a very visible piece of art.
Keri Rosebraugh was selected by Sweet Shop owner Traci Williams to design the project. “The minute they approached me to install a piece of work, I knew Keri would be perfect to create a meaningful addition to the town,” Williams said. “Not only have we been friends since fourth grade and collaborated on projects before, but I love her vision of art being a unifying force - something so important in this time and place.”
The artwork is constructed out of Douglas Fir, indigenous to Gearhart, and cast bronze. The natural texture of the wood symbolizes the sublime in nature while the bronze represents man’s hand in processing our natural resources. Above all, this piece honors unity and diversity in this region.
Companies Form 3D and Bamboo Revolution in Portland worked together to fabricate the wood portion of the sculpture while the bronze section was cast at Blue Mountain Fine Art in Baker City.
Trantler is graciously funded by the Oregon Coast Visitors Association and Travel Oregon. For more information on both organizations, please go to https://visittheoregoncoast.com/ and https://traveloregon.com/
For a link to the Sweet Shop Gearhart, click here: https://sweetshopgearhart.com/
Downtown Los Angeles artists Keri Rosebraugh and Adam Guy have created a large-scale installation north of the First Street bridge in support of the global fight against the coronavirus, using 100 clay roof tiles as the medium.
“The tiles symbolize home, because they are used to make the rooftops of so many buildings in Southern California,” Rosebraugh said. “They are direct, and this whole virus is hitting everyone. I wanted to use something simple to get the point across.”
Rosebraugh and Guy lined up the tiles like dominoes, spelling out the word “virus” in 12-foot letters. The two artists then proceeded to crush the first three letters of the word with a sledgehammer and pickaxe, leaving the remaining part of the word as “us.” Guy documented the piece in photo and on video, using a camera and drone.
Rosebraugh works in Los Angeles and Marnay Sur Seine, France. Her work revolves around connections between man and nature, exploring how humans and the environment affect each other. Rosebraugh’s artwork is included in the Permanent Collection of the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Florina in Greece, in the Natural History Museum/State Darwin Museum in Moscow, as well as numerous exhibitions in Italy.
A Hawaii native, Guy is based in Los Angeles. He began his artistic study in paint, charcoal and figure drawing and later explored photography. For 10 years, Guy shot exclusively using film, until 2010 when he began incorporating digital stills and motion. He now uses a broad range of photographic techniques to create his imagery.
“Although our approach to our practices are different from each other’s, our subject matter is very similar, even though our work isn’t,” Rosebraugh said. “We both study the examination of human relationships with nature and how nature affects us, and we affect nature.”
The two artists live alone, across from one another in an industrial warehouse studio. A majority of the other residents left due to COVID-19. After both artists self-isolated for four weeks, they began planning the “virus” art installation.
“During times like these you wonder what you can do,” Rosebraugh said. “The bottom line is I’m not a doctor. I’m not a nurse. I don’t know how to sew or make masks. You know, we’re artists, so we do what we can do,” Rosebraugh said.
“A lot of my practice has to do with installations with land art and larger installations, and his (Guy) has to do with photography and video, so we merged the two together and decided to do this video to share with people that they are not alone. Everyone has their fears, and we are all trying to get through this together.”
The installation and performance art was created and executed north of the First Street bridge with the LA river and cityscape as the backdrop.
Rosebraugh said the First Street bridge with the LA River and cityscape as the backdrop was perfect for the project.
“I think it turned out to what we hoped it to be,” she said. “We really wanted a backdrop of the city, and so that specific location worked really well, and the video and drone did a really good job at showing where we were. That location is so modified by man, from the graffiti and the concrete and the buildings, and it shows the connection to man and nature—or antinature and the virus. I think it all connects works together.”
The process took the artists about three hours to execute. With social distancing in place, this installation let them share the frustration of their current challenges while conveying a public message that we are all in this fight together.
“I think in the end, the emotions all add up to a bit of grief for what’s happening and fear of the unknown. That’s part of the reason it says ‘us,’ because we will get through this,” Rosebraugh said. “There will be an us in the end of this, but we just don’t know what that us will be after this. We will not be the same—but there will be an us.”
Click on image to watch 1:45 minute video.
Clatsup County Arts Summit/ Pop Up Exhibition in Gearhart, OR
This fall was spent in the french countryside at my studio, converting my old barn into a woodworking shop, which I am quite excited about. I left France at the beginning of the month and headed to the Oregon coast where I took part in speaking at the very first Clatsop County Arts Summit at the Seaside Convention Center. It is a newly renovated state-of-the-art facility and the summit was wonderful to be a part of: artists speaking to artists about the business of art. I met a lot of new friends whom I look forward to collaborating with in the future. My hope is that this summit will continue to grow each year as I feel it covers some essential marketing and business components and brings up pertinent questions that many artists have during the span of their careers.
Here is a link to the related article:
I have a special connection to the Pacific Northwest, which I'm sure has to do with the fact that I grew up there. The people I come into contact with upon returning as an adult seem to have certain things in common: they tend to respect nature, and take note of the significance our natural environment plays in our existence. Maybe it's because they not only are surrounded by so much nature, but also they see how nature has a mind of its own. The strong rain and winds can kick our butts as can a herd of elk crossing the street if one steps too close.
I was fortunate to have a pop up exhibition at the Sweet Shop in Gearhart, Oregon the same week as speaking at the Arts Summit. The location right at the beach was perfect to share my body of work on water. Thanks to PR master Traci Williams, the show was a success and I was able to reunite with friends I had not seen in years.
Bread and Water: Life's simple provisions
Again I focus on water and our symbiotic relationship with our natural surroundings - how this affects our health and the condition of our planet.
I can't help but meditate on the onslaught of horrors I read in the news this week regarding the hardships of migrants worldwide. Water is a fundamental ingredient. A father and daughter drowned in the Rio Grande trying to cross the border. Insufficient amounts of water allocated to refugee camps is rampant. The discharge of raw sewage into the bodies of water near these camps are causing migrants to relocate. It is a vicious cycle.
As I sit comfortably in my countryside studio next to the River Seine it could be easy for one to ignore the rest of the world. I feel at peace listening to the birds chirping all day and the frogs singing me to sleep at night. But the reality of this is that at some point all this could change. Or go away. Pesticides used in agriculture and intensification of land use are linked to the decline in birds throughout rural France. Nine kilometers away from my studio is a cute village called Saint-Aubin, where the drinking water is currently rated BAD due to agricultural pollutants.
When comparing this to the conditions migrants are facing globally, it comes down to apples and oranges. However, in the big picture - humans who are in a safe place at the moment can do something to promote change. We just need to put on our thinking caps and do a bit of homework. Help is needed everywhere and every bit counts. I believe there is power in numbers.
Bread and Water series
Charcoal, Oil Paint, Stamped Slices of Bread, Graphite, Sand on Paper