Just moments before the clouds burst open and rained the first heavy downpour of the season, the boys and I were on a small willow farm just north of town helping harvest great volumes of the stuff to be used in a large scale artwork.
The artist, Patrick Dougherty, is spending the month of October here in Corvallis constructing a site-specific sculpture in a pocket park on campus.
I felt fortunate to get notice and be able to participate in the foundation event of the project. Mostly because I think it will be such a cool experience for Calder to follow the creation of this piece from the sourcing of the material on through to the culmination of the sculpture.
The boys were so great out there helping me bundle bunches of willow branches for easy transfer from farm to site. Sure they dug in the gopher mounds, played with sticks, and ate slices of pie out of paper cups, but that's "helping" too. Not to mention, I was the crazy girl who brought her two little boys to a work party, stayed for only an hour, and spent some of that time down on my hands and knees taking pictures. Oh well. We got to speak with Patrick and all the friendly volunteers, and promised to join them again on a regular basis throughout the month.
I remember seeing one of Patrick's sculptures years ago in the San Jose Museum of Art. Since then it's always been pretty obvious when I was looking at one of his pieces. I love how they flow and are so so strong. He said he didn't have a specific vision for what this sculpture will look like. How great will it be to be able to watch the transformation from growing plant to final creation? A mystery unfolding and a neat opportunity to see how this place rubs off on a world-famous artist and is reflected in the forms he creates.