So who won our “Best of the Best” poll of all the winners from all the past trails? We won’t make you wait, it was the best of show winner of 2019 – 2020, Hector M. Ortega, with “Was I just Another One?”.
The Beginning. As I start to turn over the coordinating of the Cloverdale Trail to Janet Howell, thoughts of the past exhibits cross my mind, including the beginning in 2003. I decided to take a trip down memory lane, and you are invited to join me as I remember how sculpture exhibits began in Cloverdale and the winners over the years. Joyce
Plans for a major transformation and face-lift in the business district was completed in 2002 with construction scheduled for spring of 2003. As Project Publicist for the project my job was to propose projects/activities to the downtown area during construction.
My first idea was a funky project to combine the k-rails to divide the part of the boulevard under construction from the traffic lanes, with orange safety fencing. Ron Siegemund, artist, and Albert Walker, construction designer, was enlisted to figure out how to combine these construction materials into a work of art.
We tried out our ideas with safety fencing and two abandoned k-rails near Ray’s. The idea was to have undulating waves of orange safety fencing on top of the k-rails. The abandoned k-rails had holes on the top of the rails, so it was decided that PVC pipes would go into the holes with the fencing attached to the poles.
Good idea, great planning, and the city, and the construction company were ok with the plan. Yet, when the k-rails were placed, there were not holes in the rails. The only space, which was too large for the poles were the breaks between the rails. Wood wedges were used to fill the gap, yet another problem arose, the traffic and construction vibrations made the wedges float upwards. I found myself, every day at 5:30 am checking the PVC poles for movement and most mornings I had to pound the wedges back into the gap to ensure safety.
I was happy when the rails were moved to allow for construction on the other lanes, no more 5:30 am visits. The safety fencing was used to decorate the wooden sidewalks which temporary replaced the old sidewalks. The PVC pipes and some of the safety fencing was used to create banners and flags for all the downtown businesses and the Plaza. This worked.
Another idea emerged for a second artistic project, a juried sculpture exhibit that changed the Plaza into a sculpture garden with eight sculptors exhibiting. The second project was very successful, and the exhibit turned into the Cloverdale Annual Sculpture Exhibit.
“Best of Show” Winners.
Art is, by definition, one of the most diverse creative outlets. Over the years the diversity of the winning sculptures has been outstanding and the use of materials unique.
2003 Best of Show Winner, Bryan Tedrick “Capricclo”
This sculpture was a work of art representing a mixture of real and imaginary features.
Would you recognize “Capricclo” as a sculpture created by Bryan? At urgings from fellow artists, Bryan attended Burning Man in 2005 and realized this was the perfect context for creating work in his style. As a result, his work has become larger and more interactive, received multiple honorarium grants, additional public art commissions, and been published in many books.
2004 Best of Show Winner, Joe Hawley, “Fragment of Forgotten Ancestor”
According to Joe, “Fragment of a Forgotten Ancestor” was made at SF State, using a hand extruder – it was created in recognition of our deep history with space”
Artist Statement: “My work is a continuous conversation in the language of form. The most reoccurring form in my work has been the sphere.
Explorations in clay and glass volumes and masses led to assemblages of elements to express simple yet profound relationships in nature and the universe. In the spirit of play, I attempt to create forms of delight, truth, and fancy, as well as forms about science and spirit.”
2005 Best of Show Winner, William Wareham, “Without a Shout”
Willian talks about his studio wall – “On my studio wall is a small sign (the lettering disappearing from age) that says, “Do not be afraid! Perhaps intended as a morale booster to those WWII sailors going off to war from this shipyard. It now acts as an aesthetic reminder to pursue the creative art with vigor. But what is that? Is it to take three-dimensional form to where it has not been before? Or mine the turf that others have excavated In the belief of finding new harmonies?”
Note: In 2005 William’s studio was at the Hunter’s Point Shipyard with a number of other artists.
2006 Best of Show Winner, David Mudgett, “Drain”
This was the second year David had entered and been accepted to exhibit at the Cloverdale Annual Sculpture Exhibit. The previous year David was an Honorable Mention winner. His Best of Show sculpture, “Drain” was made of steel plates and measures 4 feet x 6 feet x 6 feet tall. David is fascinated with the ease of which large pieces of metal can be formed into limitless objects and is now addicted to the use of metal when creating his sculptures.
David is a spokesman in defense of spiders who he feels traditionally has been given a bad rap. David is hopeful by viewing the spiders he has created over the years, people will face his or her fears by looking past the stigma and realizing the true magnificence of spiders.
2007 – The Cloverdale Annual Sculpture Exhibit presents a curated exhibit by Leonard L. Hunter
Leonard L. Hunter in 2007 was considered an influential artist and educator who is widely considered to be one of the leading proponents and experts in the field of Public Art. Leonard is now Emeritus Faculty at San Francisco State University.
- Jeff Downing, assistant professor at San Francisco State University. Medium ceramic stoneware. Jeff is now professor at SFSU.
- Karrie Hovey teaches 3D Design at Dominican University and works at San Francisco State University. She is engaged with issues of public art and issues impacting the environment. Karrie is now involved with Project Thorn a wild animal conservation organization; her art revolves around Project Thorn’s scope of activities.
- Terry Marshlian, professor of Sculpture at San Francisco State University. His sited inventions tune viewers into the present moments, transcend time and offer portals into the metaphysical. Terry continues as professor of sculpture at SFSU.
- Terry M. Mason draws inspiration from different facets of the human condition, including the consequences of time. Terry is based in Northfield, MA and continues is work.
The core of the tree reveals the history of its life. The Cloverdale Reveille records the history and growth of the Cloverdale Community. Each layer builds upon the foundation provided by the past.
The exhibit was expanded to include the following:
-Concept to Reality: Creating a Sculpture Exhibit at the library
-Curator Walk – Sculptor Introductions
2008 Best of Show Winner, Gale Wanger, “Making Space for the Future”
“Making Space for the Future” was part of Gale’s toy series.
Gale Wagner of Oakland is one of the founders of the Pacific Rim Sculptors.
2009 Best of Show Winner, Boback Emad, “Shadows of Eternity”
Boback Emad’s sculpture “Shadows of Eternity” was donated to the City of Cloverdale by the Voight Family Sculpture Foundation in 2010, after winning Best of Show in the 2009 Sculpture Exhibit.
This sculpture embraces ideas of permanence with material and monumental form, but also impermanence with the integration of the sundial into its design. It honors the past and future with the linear elements appearing to move, with lines coming together to form a moment or memory, while the ring establishes a closing loop of group experience.
Oct. 17, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Emad lost his home along with a 30-year career’s worth of his artwork to the Tubbs fire. Emad was also an art collector, and he lost several valuable pieces, including a Miro, Dali, his own hot-tar paintings, and his delicate aluminum mobiles.
2010 Best of Show Winner, Robert Michael Smith, “Chautaquamadale”
Robert is an active pioneer of digital sculpture, 3D CG visualization, animation, virtual reality, robotic and 3D printed sculptures. He was a tenured Associate Professor at the New York Institute of Technology Fine Arts Department. He also visited China twice a year as Professor at Tianjin Academy of Art. Robert retired from teaching in 2019 after 40 years of teaching.
Smith also created sculptures in stone, cast metal, wood and mixed media. “Chautaquamadale” was a stone sculpture.
2011 Best of Show Winner, Paul Van Lith, “Two Women”
Paul Van Lith has spent his lifetime sculpting the human form in concrete, stucco, plaster, and wood. Having studied in Greece, he is inspired by Greek mythology and many of the great sculptors who came before him.
“Two Women”, an outdoor sculpture in concrete and stucco, references Brancusi and The Endless Column.
The above information was supplied by Sandy Erickson of Erickson Art Gallery as Sandy has been representing Paul for many years.
2012 Best of Show Winner, Albert Dicruttalo, “Offshoot”
Albert is a contemporary sculptor working in bronze, stainless steel and steel.
A quote from Albert; ”As a fine art student at Ithaca College, I worked in various media, but there was never any doubt that my focus would be sculpture. Making art was a constant while I supported myself through various jobs—managing a leather store, fronting a rock band, working in the fishing industry in Alaska.”
Currently Albert lives in Oakland where his studio is located.
2012 was also the 10th Year of the Cloverdale Annual Sculpture Exhibit. An Anniversary Exhibit of works by previous winners was on display across the Boulevard from the Plaza.
A best of Show was not awarded the following years.
June 6, 2013 – February 6, 2014
First Year the Cloverdale Annual Sculpture Exhibit becomes the Cloverdale – Geyserville Sculpture Trail.
The 2013 – 2014 Sculpture had 12 new sculptures in Cloverdale and 8 in Geyserville.
May 9, 2014 – May 7, 2015
The 2014 – 2015 Sculpture Trail had 17 sculptures in Cloverdale and 20 in Geyserville.
May 8, 2015 – May 5, 2016
The 2015 – 2016 Sculpture Trail had 10 new sculptures in Cloverdale and 8 in Geyserville.
Exhibiting sculptures for the above three years can be found under the link The Past, then on the tab Past Trails.
2016 – 2017 Best of Show Winner, Hector M. Ortega, “Blind Faith”
Hector expresses his thinking behind “Blind Faith”; “It is a direct result of materializing what you desire, coming to life from a simple idea transformed into a complex form. In a way it’s a metaphor for life and the things we desire and that all things are attainable whatever they maybe. Trust your voice as you delve into the unknown and just believing that it is the right thing to do, all things are attainable with enough intention.”
2017-2018 Best of Show Winner, Hector M. Ortega, “Constrained Geometrics #2”
Constrained Geometries #2 was part of an ongoing exploration of basic elemental forms, Hector works with them to realized complex, but simplified compositions. In a way his new series is a metaphor for life, taking what constraints we have in any given moment in life and making the most of what we have at hand.”
Best of Show Winner 2018 – 2019, Loren Madsen, “Alien”
“Alien” was made from a fir tree, which had grown two trunks. Loren dug out around the roots and included them in the sculpture inverting the whole tree so that it stands on the tips of the two trunks. It was 20 feet high, about 3 feet wide and 3 feet deep, and has been oiled against exterior forces.
Madsen is known for his data-driven and statistical sculptures, to see some kind of accurate perception in a world of opinion.
Best of Show Winner 2019 – 2020, Hector M. Ortega, “Was I just Another One?”
“Was I Just Another One?” was created out of Hector’s realization that it was time to progress beyond his constrained geometrical series. Time to come to terms not only to change direction, reflect on the heart, intentions, make peace with the past and look to the future.
2020-2022 Best of Show Winner, Loren Madsen, “Nests”
“Nests” consists of several elements, cylindrical “bases” and teardrop-shaped pieces which nest in the vertical cylinders. All were turned by Loren on his homemade wood lathe. The composition of the sculpture was Douglas fir and its dimensions are 8’ high x 8’10” x 8’10”.
2022 – 2024 Best of Show Winner, David Mudgett, “The Disc”
Fashioned and formed “The Disc” grew out of a series of pieces that explored the heating, bending and combining of elements. The hollow disc itself was made to appear solid with the installation of very thick sleeves where the pipe passes through. The sleeves were welded in, ground flush, and then scarfed to help fool the viewer. The pipe that runs continuously through the disk was inspired by a childhood introduction to the Mobius strip.
Don’t forget to let us know your favorite all-time winner by taking our poll.