Commissioned tool art finds permanent home in Fortuna

Heather Nyberg

Beacon Correp

If you have driven down Main Street Fortuna in the past week you have most likely come across the three massive art sculptures in the center island at the intersection of Fortuna Boulevard and Rohnerville Road.

In December of 2011 the Fortuna Riverlodge received some "trashy" guests in the form of three statuesque deer created out of recycled tools and metal by local artist Linda Wise. The deer were commissioned and donated to the city of Fortuna by two Fortuna residents who wish to remain anonymous.

The city accepted the donation and during a City Council meeting discussed and decided on a location for the three pieces of fine art for Fortuna Boulevard and Rohnerville Road intersection.

Councilman Mike Losey reflects, "I think they are fantastic! I like that they are made out of metal products that would have otherwise been discarded. I think that making use of that in the form of art is great."

Wise was honored by the city of Eureka in 2008 as the Artist of the Year for her recycled material sculptures. As reported back in December, Wise works for a local garbage company as the environmental compliance and safety manager. Wise shares, "I see quality in what others throw away. My art points out that there is value in everything."

Fortuna residents see the value, too. Joyce Mitchell reflects, "They are fantastic! At first glance I thought they were real. We have so much artistic talent in our area."

The art is appreciated by all ages as 4-year-old Quinn Stokesberry shares, "They are for Christmas" and 11 year old Caleb Barnwell pointed them out to his mother reflecting, "I want to do that! They are so cool."

Others immediately saw the future value in the new art for its example to youth. Ageana Tibbett states, "I think they are great. It's about time we start incorporating art into our town landscape. The fact that it is recycled art is even better. Items saved from our landfills and turned into something cool to look at is fabulous! Good job, city of Fortuna!"

Sydney Myers, Lee Chapman, and Cherie Anaya have nothing but praise and appreciation for the art as they drive through town.

The hope of the two donors is that the community will appreciate the art and that it will encourage creativity, recycling, and ingenuity. Nancy Hill-Silva sees those hopes and some of her own, reflecting, "I hope they don't get vandalized; they look so nice."

For more information about Linda Wise or these sculptures, email or call 445-3135. If you would like to find out more information about a potential public art program or discuss it with the city, call 725-7600.

photo caption:

Photo by Heather-Nyberg Schlotzhauer

The city of Fortuna received a donation of three recycled tools and metal sculptured deer which now have a new home at the intersection of Fortuna Boulevard and Rohnerville Road.