There is a great article about The Arm of the Kraken, and new work coming to Climate Pledge Arena this summer.
You can learn more about the making of The Arm of the Kraken here!
Something interesting emerged near the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal today. A 12′ tentacle was spotted near the Marler Clark Law Office on Bainbridge Island. It seems 2021 will be the year of the Kraken. This must be a sign that more interesting things are to come in the New Year.
In 2021, Seattle’s new Hockey team, the Seattle Kraken, debut at Climate Pledge Arena. Renowned Seattle glass artist, Preston Singletary and I are collaborating on a stainless steel and glass sculpture for the new arena campus. It will be installed as part of the arena project this year at Seattle’s iconic Seattle Center .
Two years ago, my neighbor Dan Hinkley, commissioned a series of carved “Guardians” for the entrance of Windcliff Nursery in Indianola WA. One of these took the form of a large carved tentacle. Similar in form to work I did in ceramics at the Kohler Factory in an Arts/industry residency almost ten years ago, these tentacles are on a much larger scale. Sculpturally, they are an exercise in form and fun.
The tentacle is located at the Marler Clark law office Near the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal. They are the nation’s leading firm in foodborne illness outbreaks. They work to make sure that the food we eat will be clean and safe to consume.
Making a “Guardian” for Marler Clark seemed like a prefect project for people in the business of guarding food safety for all of us.
For the near future we all have to be the guardians of one another in our community. When you are at the ferry terminal, enjoy the “Arm of the Kraken”, and remember the crucial work being done right here.
A second-growth red cedar log was chosen for the tentacle. The log was of size and weight that some help would be needed. My friend Spencer West of West Woodworking had the log, a little bobcat to move it around with, and a place to carve.
The log wast flattened on two sides so that the tentacle profile could be drawn.
The profile is cut out
The tentacle form is carved with facets
Facets are then rounded off.
Suckers are then roughed out.
Basic sculptural work is done with an electric chainsaw, electric power planer, and a Lancelot blade on a 4″ grinder
The tentacle is then refined by hand carving and texture adzing with a d-adze.
It is painted with exterior flat latex paint, it is applied as a series of washes with opaque details.
Bainbridge Island resident and artist Will Robinson helped us on installation day.
Thank you to Bill and Julie Marler, and the whole Marler Family
A very special thanks to: Eleanor Reynolds, Ryan McPhail Fluid Concrete and Design, Spencer and Elizabeth West, Will Robinson, and especially to Joanne, my awesome wife, and my great kids, Sarah, Mikel, and Ruby.
In support of Hi-Fructose’s Instagram spin-off @Hifructose.littleboxes ,the renowned art magazine, published a full page photo of Drift Inversion. Being included in Hi-Fructose is a dream come true. For me, it is the magazine that revived my faith in the contemporary art world. Showcasing contemporary artwork executed by artists with mind boggling skills and discipline. The magazine shows the best of what the art world has to offer. Being included makes me feel that all the years of battling to keep growing as an artist have been well worth the effort. Big thanks to everyone who helped get this far. You can get your copy here!
This was a project I did with my long time collaborator Aaron Whelton. He is now a full Professor of Architecture at Portland State University. Aaron is an amazing creative partner and good friend. We also had a lot of help from family and friends. More can be read about this installation and its creation here and here.
Located in Denver, Colorado on Central Park Boulevard. It is in the underpass between 53rd and 54th and can be accessed from the bike path on the Northfield Highschool side. It can also be accessed from the parking on the northwest side of the 54th intersection.
In the Spirit of Hi-Fructose Little Boxes I thought it would be good time to preview a new sculpture series that is in the works. Some projects have been delayed due to the current state of the world. Others projects have continued to slowly creep along. This is one of the most exciting things in the works because if its location and huge scale. It will be installed at the Tetra Hotel in Sunnyvale, California in cooperation with T2 Hospitality and Andrea Schwartz Gallery
Current physical scale models of the installation.
This and other exciting new projects will be coming soon!
The Burke Museum holds a very special place for indigenous people in the Northwest. It is a must see for anyone interested in the study of the history of the region. It has long been the home of some of the best minds in Anthropology in the Northwest. The Burke Museum has been home to such noted experts as Bill Holm, Robin Wright and now Katie-Bunn Marcuse. The Museum at the University of Washington has long been recognized as the place to find out about just about anything about this region.
A couple of years I was contacted by the Washington State Arts Commission about creating a project for a newly remodeled school in Seattle. I had no idea at that time what an amazing opportunity this would be, or what an incredible place Seattle World School is.
” It is one of only a few schools in the country designed as a preliminary entry point for immigrant children in their quest for academic achievement and full participation in American society.”
Over the last couple of years it has been my fortune to collaborate on public art projects with two exceptional artists, Brian Perry (Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe) and Preston Singletary (Tlingit) These projects have made me become a better artist and it has been a dream come true to work on a large scale with artists that I have admiration for.
Portland, OR, June 15, 2018—Americans for the Arts today honored outstanding public arts projects created in 2017 through the Public Art Network Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art. Chosen by public art experts, the roster of selected projects was unveiled this morning at Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in Denver.
When I was a kid in Colorado, my family would travel almost every weekend to my grandparents’ antique shop in Silver Plume or to the family cabin in Pine. Those drives into the Rocky Mountains always took us through tunnels that marked our ascent into a different world from the plains below. That memory played a role in my choosing the pedestrian underpass in the Sand Hills Prairie Park at Denver’s Stapleton Airport as the site for this installation with my friend and co-designer, Aaron Whelton. Located in a relatively cold, windy, and unwelcoming part of the park, this tunnel seemed like the perfect setting to create an inviting, engaging space. Our challenge was to develop a concept that related to the natural history of the area.
Long before Stapleton’s runways and facilities transformed the area into a busy urban landscape, this particular corner of the Denver metro area was covered in sand dunes. They were my inspiration for “Drift Inversion,” a 23′ x 128′ installation that turns the original landscape upside-down to create a surreal experience for any visitor who happens upon the underpass.
In a previous post I shared some of the preliminary design renderings that Aaron and I created for the project proposal. Once those were approved, we focused on working out the endless details with the City of Denver’s engineers, my engineers at IDE, and my fabricator Kurt Nordquist at DaVinci’s Workshop.
Each of the sculpture’s 258 aluminum “fins” is unique. To keep track of their specific locations, we assigned a number to each piece to identify its place in the length of the tunnel, and a corresponding letter to identify whether it went on the north or south side. These identifiers were added as each fin was water-jet cut, and we took great care to keep consecutive numbers in groups to make the installation process easier.
Once the cutting was complete, Jonathan Arreola, Juan Sanchez and Joshua Arreola, at Northwest Custom Auto Body in Burien did the painting.
While Jonathan finished the painting and we readied the fins for transport to Ship/Art in Denver for warehousing, Rio Grande Co. (also in Denver) was busy gathering all the hardware and fabricating the 1,548 galvanized steel brackets we would need for the installation. In the end, the project required nearly 12,400 individual elements (nuts, bolts, washers, bushings, and other hardware) including the fins, which, by themselves, weighed nearly 16,000 pounds.
The pedestrian underpass that houses “Drift Inversion” provides a glorious window to the Rockies in the West and a portal for viewing incredible rainbows in the East. It also seemed to focus and intensify the weather we experienced during installation. Every kind of Colorado spring storm imaginable passed through during that two weeks: heavy snow and bitter cold, a downpour with jawbreaker-sized hail, steady rain, 80-degree days…you name it, we had it.
Work began on a frigid, windy Friday morning that evolved into a very snowy weekend. Despite the enormous challenges of working overhead in the biting cold, Mike Adcock of Adcock Concrete in Grand Junction, CO, and his helper, Alexandro, did an incredibly accurate job installing all of the structural elements that ultimately would support “Drift Inversion.”
Over three days, the crew installed 1,500 brackets and nearly 1,000 feet of Unistrut.
Once all the structural elements were in place, it was up to the Franklin family and some devoted friends to install the sculpture’s 258 fins. It was a truly epic process, supported from the sidelines by many folks bearing hearty lunches and words of encouragement, including my high school friends Chris Flores and Heidi Gartland, Bruce and Tricia Gallagher, my mom, and my sister in-in law, Brooke.
Two weeks later, after installing tons of aluminum and tightening thousands of nuts and bolts, “Drift Inversion” was complete. After two weeks of installing tons of aluminum, and tightening thousands of nuts and bolts, the project was complete.
There were so many helping hands involved in this project. I acknowledged some people earlier in this post, but would be totally remiss if I didn’t mention the invaluable support of these folks, too: My truly amazing wife, Joanne; the quintessential art professional, Barbara Neal; Alexander Abel with Adcock Concrete; and all of the members of the Park Creek Metropolitan District Public Art Committee who made this installation possible. Thank you all!
Drift Inversion made the cover of NorthEast Denver’s Newspaper, The Front Porch!
Read the article here:The Front Porch
…also enjoy a short video of Drift Inversion in Motion
Thanks to: Aaron Whelton, Kurt Nordquist, IDE Engineers, Barbara Neal, Denver City Councilman Christopher Herndon, Park Creek Metropolitan District, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Civitas, Mortenson Construction, and all of my friends and family who supported this project and worked so hard to make it happen, and to my awesome wife Joanne.