GRANTS PASS – A gathering of more than 50 people attended a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, Oct. 25, to celebrate the installation of two coho salmon sculptures as the newest additions to the public art collection in Grants Pass. Sculpting artist Lucas Brinkerhoff cut the ribbon in the Salmon Parking Lot at Fifth and I Streets with a giant pair of scissors provided by the Grants Pass Chamber of Commerce.
“Congratulations to all of you. These are yours now. This is public art for the public,” said Brinkerhoff.
Brinkerhoff began the project in June 2018. He said he studied multiple photographs of coho salmon to create the realistic design. He then created a steel structure upon which he layered pieces of copper to create the salmon heads, fins, and scales. Each scale was meticulously cut, grinded, polished, and placed into rows for connecting to the framing underneath.
“It was definitely a learning experience, including new elements of sculpting and fabricating,” Brinkerhoff said.
The final aspect of the project included the application of multiple layers of hard epoxy to protect the copper sculpture from weather and the elements. Brinkerhoff said that he planned to apply “a couple more layers” of epoxy now that the sculpture is in place.
During his dedication of the sculpture, Brinkerhoff expressed his gratitude to the many people who assisted in making the project happen, but project partners directed the credit to the artist.
“He should be very proud of what he’s done,” said Dennis Hatch, chairman of Grants Pass Committee on Public Art.