‘This is the only piece of public art in Gearhart,” Gearhart resident and artist Harold Gable said last Saturday.
Gable, who is a member of Clatsop County’s arts council, along with Sweet Shop owner Traci Williams and sculptor Keri Rosebraugh, celebrated the delivery and installation of “Trantler,” a 12 1/2-foot-high statue celebrating nature and diversity. Made of wood and hollowed bronze, the statue, which merges a tree and an antler, weighs 320 pounds.
The 12-foot-high blended form of an elk antler and tree was fabricated in the state from a combination of Douglas fir and bronze. Local landscape contractor Daniel Sturgell of 3D Landscaping assisted with the concrete, stone and plant design. Form 3D in Portland worked with Bamboo Revolution to carve the wooden part of the sculpture and the bronze fabrication was cast by Blue Mountain Fine Art in Baker City.
Funding comes from the Oregon Coast Visitors Association and Travel Oregon.
Crews delivered the statue last Friday and drilled holes into the cement base. On Saturday morning, Gable presented the statue to a small gathering.
Gable said he was introduced to Rosebraugh at last year’s Clatsop County Arts Summit when she was the keynote speaker.
Gable and Williams teamed up to approach Rosebraugh with the idea of bringing public art to Williams’ patio space. They applied for and won funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust, Travel Oregon and Travel Portland to promote public art.
“We were one of three sites they thought could be viable for public art on private property,” Williams said.
“The name ‘Trantler’ is derived from a tree and an antler put together,” Rosebraugh said. “It’s specific to Gearhart, because of honoring trees and timber industry as well as taking note of the dialogue of the elk in the area, both are top discussion points and of interest very local to here.”
The statue also celebrates unity and diversity, she said, “all the way down to the material.”
“The life of wood is totally different from the life of bronze, but yet they can live together harmoniously in the same world and it works out,” Rosebraugh said. “You can take that to a whole global level if you want. It’s putting different entities in balance with each others, different ideologies, different thoughts. They can be in balance together.”
Above all, she said, she hopes visitors make their own connection to it.
“Whatever resonates with them personally is important to me. If it resonates with them, and it causes them to take a moment out of their day, or gives them a new thought or sparks a memory, that will make me happy. That’s what public art is all about: the people.”