A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

Famed bronze sculpture installed at Green Music Center

Sonoma State University’s outdoor art collection got a boost today (Thursday, Aug. 23) with the installation of the late Berkeley sculptor Stephen De Staebler’s “Winged Figure Ascending, 2011” near the new Green Music Center box office. The bronze statue is on loan to SSU from the artist’s estate for the next two years. Other pieces on campus include “Bar Note Bench,” by Sonoma Mountain sculptor Robert Ellison, which stands just outside the center’s education wing. It was donated by Jean… Read More »

Scissors sculpture moved from Courthouse Square

If you’re driving through downtown Santa Rosa’s Courthouse Square, see if you notice what’s gone. “Renaissance,” Robert Ellison’s brightly painted steel sculpture of a giant pair of scissors, installed downtown in 2007, has been relocated to the A New Leaf Gallery  in Sonoma, Tara Matheny-Schuster, City of Santa Rosa Arts Coordinator, announced Friday. Loaned to the city by the sculptor four years ago as part of the Artwalk program, the piece drew ridicule from some passers-by, but proved popular with… Read More »

Wells Fargo Center moves sculpture

Construction of the new Sutter Medical Center next to Wells Fargo Center for the Arts north of Santa Rosa is prompting the relocation of a monumental sculpture at the center’s entrance. Sonoma Mountain sculptor Robert Ellison’s 1981 welded steel sculpture, “Arch Tworain,” which stands 28 feet tall, will be moved by crane next Thursday, June 23, to another part of the center’s grounds. Visitors to the center have been greeted by Ellison’s sculpture near the main entrance of the complex… Read More »

Art or not? What do you like?

One of my father’s favorite jokes was to take a cliche and turn it upside-down: “Everybody’s crazy except you and me, and sometimes I’m not so sure about me.” Or: “Things will get worse before they get worse.” Or, appropriate to today’s topic: “I know a lot about art, but I don’t know what I like.” In the past week or so, readers of this blog have participated in a loose, ongoing discussion of public art. Readers gave mixed reviews… Read More »

Art or not? Hot or what?

Stayed tuned for details of a contest in which there are no prizes, just a great chance to vent. But first, this message: Not all art hangs on a wall.  Some gets right in your face. Every day. The beauty of  public art is it reaches everybody. The drawback is that people see it whether they want to or not. “Everybody’s got an opinion. It’s so subjective,” Sonoma Mountain sculptor Robert Ellison said recently. That’s his “Donut Diorama” shown above.… Read More »