Artist John Streeby has been a permanent fixture at Dennis Halkides’ new Gallery833 on Mistletoe Lane since it opened late last year. That’s where John met Joe Wong, local entrepreneur and business owner. Or rather, that’s where Joe Wong met John’s smaller, abstract sculptures and decided that a large-scale steel version would be the perfect focal point for his new office building on Executive Way in Redding.
Drive around Redding and you will see traces of artist John Streeby everywhere. He’s left his creative mark in many of our most-traveled public spaces. His leaping steel salmon welcome visitors to the Coleman Fish Hatchery, greet motorists arriving to downtown on S. Market Street and adorn the newly renovated stretch of Highway 44 that crosses the Sacramento River.
John’s schools of salmon and other site-specific projects, including a 13-foot totem pole for a private residence, give us a only a sense of what John is capable of with migs, tigs and plasma cutters. The Executive Way project is an agile, flowing confluence of non-representational shapes and forms. Its lightness belies its 800 pounds of heavy, polished steel. And it’s an example of an artistic mind allowed complete creative license.
“I’ve done other large, site-specific works, but this is the first one that I have had complete freedom to express my own creative vision,” John said of his newest creation. In it, John tried to achieve the same order, balance and unity that he’s known for in his smaller works.
He did it. Take a look at it from multiple angles and you’ll experience its infinite variations. Visit the site a year from now, or ten years from now, when time and the elements have created layers of auburn, copper and russet patina.
I don’t know if Joe Wong intended to give Redding a piece of public art when he commissioned John. But bravo, Joe, for raising the culture quota in a stretch of Redding dominated by commonplace concrete and asphalt.
It’s in a private space, so the sculpture technically belongs to him. But Joe inadvertently gave us all an original outdoor creation, right in the middle of the L-shaped, arched, glass entrance of his office on Larkspur Lane and Executive. Thanks, Joe, for sharing.
John Streeby’s newest steel creation is at 930 Executive Way in Redding. It’s worth more than a rubber-necked glance from behind the wheel, so park and walk around it, especially at night when it’s lit from beneath. See John’s more human-scale work at Gallery833, a regular Eastside ArtHop destination, at 833 Mistletoe Way, Redding. Click HERE for more information about John Streeby.
Adam Mankoski enjoys experiencing and writing about the people, places and things that embody the free spirit of the State of Jefferson. He and his partner own HawkMan Studios and are the creators of Redding’s 2nd Saturday ArtHop.
This portrait of Adam Mankoski was created by Shasta High School students Chance Norman and Kenzi Bell.
A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.