Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 7, 2012.

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Our goal is to install a large kinetic sculpture at Gallery Row in Oakhurst CA, created by Chris Sorensen, Fresno's Man of Steel.

The Sorensen Sculpture Project is a Public Art Project developed by Sierra Art Trails, a California Non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the arts, art education, and the many communities located in the Yosemite Foothills. 

 In 2008 Sierra Art Trails http://www.sierraarttrails.org established the Sierra Art Trails Public Art Fund. Public art beautifies, educates, and enhances our surroundings. It is a statement, indicating that a community cares about its culture.

 Now, four years later, we are thrilled to announce our first official public art project, the installation of a large outdoor sculpture at Gallery Row in Oakhurst. The sculpture will be created by Fresno’s “Man of Steel” Chris Sorensen. Our goal is to have the sculpture completed and installed at Gallery Row in time for the Sierra Art Trails Open Studio Tour in October. 

Work in Progress. Chris cutting raw steel for the central arm of the sculpture.
Work in Progress. Chris cutting raw steel for the central arm of the sculpture.

We focused on a design created by Chris many years earlier, a kinetic sculpture with balanced elements, strong lines and bright colors. The sculpture will be constructed in three sections.  A tall blue base column raises the moving parts of the piece to a level that is safe and clearly visible. The center section, a bright red hook shaped arm, turns into the wind like a weathervane, and a small yellow crescent at the top is free to turn in the wind. 

Chris working on the central arm of the sculpture
Chris working on the central arm of the sculpture

Chris Sorensen is one of Fresno's most revered artists. His generosity and dedication to the arts is well known. His contributions and donations in Fresno and beyond number too many to count. When Mariposa Arts Council lost its headquarters earlier this year due to tragic fire, Chris organized a fundraiser.  The Pink Show raises money for breast cancer research. His long standing support of Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst has helped to keep the gallery open.  These are only a few of the many examples of his philanthropy.

The gate at Sorensen Studio
The gate at Sorensen Studio

Sorensen Studio Gallery, located on East Van Ness Ave, is a focal point for the arts, and houses the studios of many other artists. At 87 years old Chris is still going strong, producing both indoor and outdoor sculpture. We are honored that Chris has taken on this project, and proud to have the opportunity to install one of his works in the public realm.

Jon Bock and Chris Sorensen working on initial plans.
Jon Bock and Chris Sorensen working on initial plans.

Please give generously. Our $5000 Kickstarter goal will cover only a portion of the estimated cost for the sculpture and its installation.  Funds raised beyond our $5000 goal will be used to cover the balance of our expenses. In order to insure the success of the project, any additional funds required to complete the project will be covered by Sierra Art Trails. We hope this is our first project of many.  Your contribution will help insure that it is.

Sorensen Heart at Saint Agnes Hospital in Fresno
Sorensen Heart at Saint Agnes Hospital in Fresno

 Bringing artwork into the public realm pulls together people from all walks of life. Public art is for everyone, not limited to a select few. It provides the viewer a moment for pause and reflection, and enhances our often hurried lives. 

Chris cutting steel rods to create internal structure for the piece.
Chris cutting steel rods to create internal structure for the piece.

Please help us to complete this project through your donation. Any amount is acceptable and appreciated. Let's work together to keep our cultural life vibrant.

Chris on his bike - End Credits - Thank You Everyone who Helped!
Chris on his bike - End Credits - Thank You Everyone who Helped!

FAQ

  • The design was based on a piece created by Chris many years ago. Chris remembers that over the years he has created three pieces with similar designs for other clients. Two were sold to Sorensen patrons, and their current location is unknown. One was displayed at a private home in the Coarsegold Hills for many years, visible along Highway 41 as one approached from the South. The piece that inspired our current sculpture is currently on display at a prominent home in San Diego CA.

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  • As of today, September 13, 2012 the sculpture is under construction. We hope to install the piece by early October. We are honored that Chris has taken on the project. Watching him work on the piece day to day is an inspiration. Chris is 87 years old and still going strong despite the extreme temperatures of the summer in Fresno ( peaking as high as 111 degrees in August ). Truly he is "Fresno's Man of Steel".

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  • Gallery Row features five established art galleries, all dedicated to supporting the arts, and representing over 100 regional artists. Highway 41 is the main artery to the south entrance to Yosemite National Park. From Oakhurst, the south gate is only 15 minutes away. From there it is a quick jump to the Wawona Hotel and the Mariposa Grove. Bass Lake, Sierra Sky Ranch, Narrow Gauge Railroad, Tenaya Lodge, and many other attractions are along the route. We believe that placing the sculpture at Gallery Row will create a statement that we are an Arts Destination, and will quickly become a local landmark that celebrates the arts and our art community.

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  • Chris Sorensen is Fresno's Man of Steel. Chris is one of Fresno's most revered artists. His generosity and dedication to the arts is well known. His contributions and donations in Fresno and beyond number too many to count. When Mariposa Arts Council lost its headquarters earlier this year due to tragic fire, Chris organized a fundraiser. The Pink Show raises money for breast cancer research. His long standing support of Timberline Gallery in Oakhurst has helped to keep the gallery open. These are only a few of the many examples of his philanthropy.

    Sorensen Studio Gallery, located on East Van Ness Ave, is a focal point for the arts, and houses the studios of many other artists. At 87 years old Chris is still going strong, producing both indoor and outdoor sculpture.

    Last updated:
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    Your support is a wonderful thing! Please attend the Sierra Art Trails Preview Exhibit Reception at Stellar Gallery on Sept 15, and the unveiling of the sculpture if you can. Thank you for your attention, and for your time. It is the most valuable thing. Thank You. Sweet Dreams!

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    Sorensen Sculpture Project souvenir pinback button with an image of the sculpture in vivid color! International backers may pay an additional shipping cost.

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    NEW REWARD - Receive a FREE Sierra Art Trails 2013 Open Studio Tour catalog with your donation. Catalogs will be mailed when they arrive from the printer next July, or picked up at Stellar Gallery in Oakhurst. Your catalog is your ticket for two to our annual Open Studio Tour. Reserve yours NOW by supporting the Sorensen Sculpture project.

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    Sorensen Sculpture Project Limited Edition T-Shirt. International backers may pay an additional shipping cost.

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    Limited Edition photograph of Chris at work on the sculpture by Kerby Smith,and autographed by Chris Sorensen, the Man of Steel! International backers may pay an additional shipping cost.

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    The Gillum Award - Donate $100 or more - Your name will be included on a bronze plaque installed at the foot of the sculpture for all to see! Ed Gillum is a renowned sculptor and educator in Fresno. We are THRILLED to have Ed's support for this project.

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    Major Sponsor - Special mention in Sierra Art Trails promotional material. Special mention at unveiling. 2 souvenir pinback buttons, and a signed LE Sorensen Project T-Shirts. International backers may pay an additional shipping cost.

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    The Big Push Reward - Help push us over our goal and receive a one of a kind Chris Sorensen Sculpture! Chris put this piece together from scrap steel left over from the public art piece. Support us at the $500 level and receive this unique reward, a piece of the actual sculpture Chris is working on.

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    Platinum Sponsor - Free Advertising in the 2013 Sierra Art Trails catalog. Special mention in upcoming major SAT promotional materials. Many Free promotional items. Special VIP at the sculpture unveiling. Flowers! More!

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