Art in the Desert: Olancha Sculpture Garden
Photography & Text By Jeremiah Gilbert
Highway 395 runs through the states of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington before terminating at the Canada-U.S. border. There are many peculiarities to be found along its 1,305 mile (2,100 km) distance, including the remnants of the AirFlite Café seen in the second season Twilight Zone episode “A Hundred Yards Over the Rim” (1961) and the Lemon House, a former roadside attraction that is now part of the Lemon House Inn located in Cartago, California, with a population of under 100.
Near both of these oddities lies another roadside attraction: the Olancha Sculpture Garden. This collection of over a dozen metal sculptures lies just off the side of the highway, though the dirt road entrance is easy to miss as there is no signage. The sculptures are the creation of artist Jael Hoffmann. Born in Israel, she lived in Berlin before moving to the United States. She works with metal and often infuses references to internal conflict into her art.
Pieces in the sculpture garden range in size from only a few feet to over 15 feet (4.5 meters) in height, all standing beneath the skyline of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. One particularly colorful piece, “Give and Take,” encourages visitors to leave an item in one container and take something from the adjacent container in return. Another sculpture, “The Hitchhiker,” features a female figure with her thumb extended while holding a suitcase in her other hand, perhaps expressing all of the baggage one carries through life. There is also a sense of personal freedom and female empowerment associated with this piece.
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The NO MIDDLEMAN ART GALLERY is designed to connect art seekers and collectors with artists DIRECTLY. The gallery is not a mall, but instead a collection of remarkable works of art that bring together artists and potential buyers.
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Written By Joelcy Kay – Curator
Every piece of art, crafts, or textiles, hanging on my walls or ceiling tells a tiny passage of my life. Most of it was acquired during my travels. Many of these treasures are damaged whether because they were broken on arrival, as the pieces were tightly stuffed into my backpack, or weathered by the unforgiving Florida tropical humidity. But in the end, they are my precious processions and they are part of the stories I tell. It feels good to have rugs hanging from the ceiling, masks on the walls, and drinking my morning coffee thinking of the mugs’ tale. The point here is that art has a lot to offer each one of us; ART IS VERY PERSONAL!
The NO MIDDLEMAN ART GALLERY offers that personal experience as the individual has the opportunity to buy the art from the creator and by doing so a new event to remember is born. When you hang the work of art on your wall there is a story behind it; an artist you now know and follow. And instead of the usual “I purchased this at “WWW(BIG BIG ART STORE).COM” the connection enriches the emotional value of your art piece.
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