.On the Sculpture Trail: Public Art in Cloverdale

Public art in Cloverdale

For many, knowledge of sculpture starts with Rodin’s “The Thinker” and ends somewhere near David’s fig leaf. Fortunately, for nearly two decades, the Cloverdale Sculpture Trail has expanded local appreciation for the discipline with its biannual public art exhibit. 

The Sculpture Trail’s 2022-24 season, which was installed in late April, brings nine new pieces installed along and nearby Cloverdale Boulevard.

“Being an artist, but especially a sculptor, venues are hard to come by,” says artist Bryan Tedrick, who has participated in the event since its inception 19 years ago. “The logistics of moving heavy objects, preparing sites to place them, and maintaining public safety are not simple tasks.”

Over the years, the event has seen an increase in funding, publicity and access to heavy equipment to aid in transporting and installing the artwork, which Tedrick credits to local arts maven Joyce Mann, who retires from her tenure with the Sculpture Trail this year. 

“The satisfaction for me of the Sculpture Trail is seeing families walking down the streets and stopping to admire and discuss the sculptures,” says Janet Howell, who runs J. Howell Fine Art in Healdsburg and is taking over as lead chair for Mann. “Nineteen years ago, Joyce Mann had the vision of bringing public art to our small community, and I hope Cloverdale can continue with this tradition for many years to come.”

Among this year’s new works are Tedrick’s “Thistle,” “Salvaged Horse” by Pierre Riche, “Lips” by Beth Hartmann, ‘The Disc” by David Mudgett (which took “Best of Show”), “Icarus,” a joint piece by Hector Ortega and Taryn Moore, Peter Hassen’s “Cycles2: Science” (which garnered an honorable mention), “Hekate” by Stan Huncilman, Peter and Robyn Crompton’s “Celestial Poodle,” and first place winner “Being” by Diego Harris.

The works were judged by gallery owner Danielle Elins and Todd Barricklow, a lauded Sonoma County artist.   

“As a Sonoma artist, it is particularly gratifying to share my work locally. The public exposure guarantees many will see my work,” says Tedrick. “While actual sales of work may be limited, it is at least an opportunity that wouldn’t exist otherwise, and hope springs eternal.”

The Sculpture Trail was made possible by a grant from Creative Sonoma and a bevy of local “sculpture sponsors,” from local businesses to individuals. A “People’s Choice Award,” sponsored by the Cloverdale Nursery, will be announced at a reception June 4. The public is invited to vote for their favorite works at cloverdalesculpturetrail.org.   

“The impact that public art has is not always immediately recognizable, but has a way of imprinting on one’s environment and mind like an old majestic tree,” says Hector Ortega, one of the artists behind “Icarus.” “Normalizing the arts and making a visual impact to better our built world is something that the Sculpture Trail does for its community.” 

A reception for the artists is scheduled from 5 to 7:30pm, Saturday, June 4 at Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, 209 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. cloverdalesculpturetrail.org

Daedalus Howellhttps://daedalushowell.com
Daedalus Howell is the editor of the North Bay Bohemian and Pacific Sun. He is the author, most recently, of Quantum Deadline and is the writer-director of the feature film Pill Head.
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