Main Gallery features sculptor Gale Wagner’s beautifully made airplanes
in Free Flight / Free Spirit, an exhibit curated by Jerry
Ross Barrish. The opening reception is from 7 to 9 pm on Friday,
July 11, with music provided by Rob Hughes and Allen Lee of Vivacé.
Sculptor Gale Wagner
has loved airplanes since boyhood. At age 5 he made his first models
with plywood and coffee cans. He has been a full-time sculptor since
his military service in Vietnam. He studied with Dale Eldred at
Kansas City Art Institute, then with ceramic sculptor Peter Voulkos
in California. An enthusiastic and outgoing personality, Wagner
helped found the Pacifica Rim Sculptors in 1988. During his years
of making large public artworks, working with steel, glass, and
other materials, Wagner would rest after completing a big project
by making an airplane. Now, to our great benefit, he has returned
to his early love for aviation with a passion.
Wagner’s planes are
powered by rubber bands, but they are very far from model airplanes
that come in a kit. His free-flight planes are made with painstaking
care and, as he says, with great joy in each phase of the process.
He carves and smoothes each delicate balsa wood connecting strip;
hand-dyes thin coverings of tissue paper, dying, drying, and re-dying
to achieve a color he loves, spending up to 200 or more hours building
just one plane . . . and then he goes out and sets them free up
into the sky! Wagner says he made one plane three times, because
the first two disappeared in flight, borne upwards on a thermal
wind, never to return. There is an indescribable beauty in these
free-flight planes, an ineffable compound made of the artist’s joy,
skill, and craft, his respect for materials, and the pure love of
Artist Talk: Sunday, August 10, 4 pm
At 4 pm on Sunday,
August 10, Gale Wagner will discuss his work with interviewer Richard
Whittaker, founding editor of the art journal works & conversations
and West Coast editor of Parabola Magazine. This discussion
is free to the public, and promises to be both informative and entertaining.
Sanchez Art Center
is located at 1220 Linda Mar Boulevard in Pacifica, 1.5 miles east
of Highway 1. Following opening night, the galleries are open Friday,
Saturday, and Sunday, 1–5 pm and by appointment through June 29.