Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Urban "Trees" by the Bay

It was time to say our good-byes to family members around Hemet, CA.

It was also time to take some photographs. I was particularly privileged to take this photograph of my aunt Margaret and her great granddaughter, Abby. It was on Margaret's ninety-sixth birthday that Abby was born.

I gathered this group together and took the photo without any announcement, so I think it's a very natural arrangement of four generations. Pictured here are: sitting on the floor, left to right: Matthew and Allison (Shelley's children); seated: Shelley, holding her daughter Abby Renae, and Margaret (mother of Sandra, grandmother of Shelley, great grandmother of Abby); standing: Tim and Sandra Flake, Shelley's parents.

The picnic dinner that afternoon, complete with conversation and stories, was a wonderful way to wrap up our time together--and look forward to our next meeting.

Sunset marked the end of the day and our time together, but the memories will linger well past many more sunsets.

So, it was on to San Diego, where our first stop was along Harbor Drive from the Cruise Ship Terminal to Hawthorn Street on San Diego Bay. Pictured here are some of the 30 works of art that were part of the Urban Trees 6 exhibit.

This exhibit is the sixth year's collection of sculptures under the Port's Public Art Program, which conceived this temporary exhibit to punctuate and activate the postcard views of San Diego Bay and invite people to stroll along and enjoy the pedestrian promenade. Artists were invited to apply their creative energies to the design of artistic trees to add color, form, interest and fun to the waterfront. (The artists' descriptions of their works are included here.)

Lost Signal, Greg Brotherton.

Somewhere in time, on the edge of a deserted ocean, a lone steel tower broadcasts a forgotten signal. Meant to have a historic and futuristic feel, a frozen signal seems to radiate from a glass lens perched atop industrial truss work. The lens and globe assembly are designed to rotate slowly in the wind.

The Constellation Tree, Fritzie Urquhart.

A sculptural tribute to the star-studded skies over San Diego Bay, this artwork features a cluster of ten solar-lighted globes that create the experience of viewing the heavens through a telescope and the illusion of bringing the stars closer to earth.

The spheres seemed to bounce in the wind and made a rustling sound, as though filled with BBs as we walked by.

On Board, David Thēfeld.

In this fun and entertaining artwork, three spotted whimsical reptiles frolic on a game board that swirls to the sky. The gray and ivory checker board starts out narrow and widens as it reaches the sculptures peak. Made from steel, foam and concrete, this 17-foot tall kinetic sculpture can be spun by turning the lavender wheel at its bottom, inside the base.

Rolling Wilbur, Linda Joanou.

This interactive kinetic sculpture features multiple one-inch chrome ball bearings that are lifted to the top of a partially open stainless steel track by a hand-cranked chain conveyor. The balls travel several different routes hitting bells and chimes along their way back to the bottom.

SIC'Emore (doggie tree), Neal and Tiffany Bociek.

This light-hearted, brightly colored kinetic sculpture plays with images of dog breeds. The dogs swivel on ball bearings in the wind, and the toy poodle that tops the tree functions as a weather vane. The root system of the doggie tree is a fire hydrant, favorite stopping spot for all dogs. The artwork is constructed of steel, aluminum and copper.

A Sea-Word Tree, Ron Logan.

A tree filled with sea-related words, all nautical terms for items that would appear on a ship, such as the Star of India (see our future entry), and would be fabricated from wood. The sculpture suggests how wood from a tree may live a new life as part of a ship on the ocean. The title is a play on the word "seaward."

Popcorn Chicken, Bonn Liang.

This was my favorite. The artist’s sense of humor is evident in this artwork, which represents a 10-foot tall, red and white striped box filled with what appears to be popcorn.

However, closer inspection reveals that it is filled with charming chickens. Constructed of Plexiglas, foam and plastic, the sculpture is a bit of pop art on the waterfront.

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