Near Berkeley where I live, is a place I think of as Cheers: it feels like home, everybody is family, and the food is imperfect, just like your own kitchen. But Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe is a place I frequent with my husband and alone for inexpensive, pretty darn delicious, and comforting meals.
The last time there, we finally took the time to explore amazing sculptural pieces at the top of a plain, grey, Pacific Gas and Electric Company building. Six large panels seem to tell the story of 'electrifying' the California Bay Area. The building is old, and for several years, I've wondered at the majestic beauty of this relief sculpture. I've often thought: Back in the days of that building, workers and companies really understood perfect adornment.
So, during the time we took to explore the work, we took many photographs, not easy in the bright mid-day sun, but some came out beautifully. Back home, I wondered about the age of the building, who the sculptors might be, and what this particular building houses for the PG&E company. Oh, how I love the internet! And I found some of the answers to my wondering.
While the work appears to be original to the building, it isn't. In fact, these six high and low relief panels were added in 1989!
The work is that of Scott Donahue, a professional sculptor. He's known for producing large public art installations, having designed, made and installed 22 permanent public art works in California and Colorado. One of his strengths in my mind, is the seamless integration of his sculpture within the existing architecture. To do this, he must study the history of the building, take into account the current setting; study the materials of the architecture, and consider ways to express ideas in that context. (You can visit his website at http://www.sdonahue.com/.)
So, below, some of Scott Donahue's amazing work, on the Pacific Gas and Electric Company Building in Emeryville, California.