August 1, 2006 > Pleasing, provocative and public
Pleasing, provocative and public
You see them here and there, in parking lots, in front of buildings, in the malls and places in between. They may please the eye, evoke emotions or perhaps offend. Whatever the reaction, they are works by artists - famous, obscure or sometimes unknown. Over the next several weeks, TCV will feature selected works of art in public places throughout the greater Tri-Cities area. This week: Fremont, Part II.
Having catalogued more than 30 works of art in public places in Fremont, Margaret Talt isn't yet satisfied. "I'm going to keep going until I have all the information out there," she declared over the phone last week. Her love of art and Fremont drive her. She'd like to see a brochure prepared at some point that would help any member of the public conduct a self-guided tour of some impressive and provocative sculptures and other artworks gracing our public places. TCV will gladly forward any further information readers may wish to share with Margaret.
A striking cast bronze piece, The "Fountain of Hippocrene," topped by Winged Pegasus, by Ron Rodgers is located at Pegasus Shopping Center, Fremont Boulevard between Paseo Padre Parkway and Enea Street. In Greek mythology, Pegasus was born from the blood of Medusa when Perseus, son of Zeus, cut off her head. Poseidon, god of the sea, ordered Pegasus to stop a mountain from growing. Pegasus struck the mountain with a hoof, and the Hippocrene fountain sprouted, the waters of which inspired people to write poetry. Eventually, Zeus turned Pegasus into a constellation.
A nearly hidden gem of a fountain nestles in the back of the office building at 39350 Civic Center Drive and Walnut Street. Drive into the parking lot behind the building and visit an aborigine fisherman standing in his dugout canoe with a spear in one hand and a boomerang in the other. "L. Harries '86"is inscribed on the canoe's bow, but that's about all that's known so far. It's believed the building's previous owners, an Australian firm, commissioned the fountain. But efforts to learn more have been futile. Still, it's a pleasantly serene fountain and sculpture.
Although far from serene, Indians and Bear at The California School for Deaf does catch the eye. Crafted by Canadian Douglas Tilden, it can be found at 39350 Gallaudet Drive. Unable to hear or speak, Tilden was a student when the school was located in San Francisco and known as Deaf, Dumb and Blind Asylum. Among many achievements, Tilden had four of his works exhibited at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.
"Fremont Fire Fighters" by David Anthony is a cast cement sculpture at Fire Station #4 on the corner of Pine Street and Paseo Padre Parkway. Symbolizing the unity of teamwork, the piece is owned by city of Fremont.
With arms widespread, "St. Francis of Assisi" greets visitors at the Berg-Pappas-Smith Mortuary, 40842 Fremont Blvd. Joining several other local pieces by renowned artist, Beniamino B. Bufano, this statue represents St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), who founded the Franciscan order of the Roman Catholic Church and became known for his love of animals. It is privately owned.