Scotty and Tori Whiting created, over the course of a year, a towering sculpture with spheres, cubes and triangles. It stands 13 feet tall.
The structure is the newest addition to Baker City’s art on loan program, which encourages artists to create a piece that will be on display for a year. The Whitings’ sculpture was installed Friday morning on the south side of US Bank, near the intersection of Main Street and Washington Avenue.
Scotty works for Farm & Industrial, a welding and fabrication shop in Baker City. After he and Tori talked about a design, he created it during 10-minute breaks during the day and sometimes several hours after work.
The base is a pyramid of crescent moons set into each triangular side. Each moon is filled with a different shape — circles, squares and triangles (one with round bar, one with square bar).
“It took him a long time to do the moons,” Tori said.
Scotty cut each shape individually, then arranged - — and rearranged — the different sizes until it looked just right and he could weld it all together.
“I had to just keep cutting,” he said.
The middle section is a sphere, made with straight metal pieces he rolled himself to create the circular shape.
The top is a cube, with smaller cubes inside.
“The kids were working with geometric shapes,” Tori said.
They have a daughter in kindergarten and a son in third grade.
The piece is titled Damhsa Geoiméadrach, which is Gaelic for “Geometric Dance.”
“The way the ball is shaped, it gives it a little bounce,” Tori said.
After Scotty finished welding, he brought the sculpture home and secured it in their front yard.
“We wanted to see how it did in the wind,” Tori said.
Next came the painting — the black is spray paint, but Tori applied the teal by hand, which meant crawling inside the triangle and climbing up high.
Scotty learned about artistic welding during his seven years at Blue Mountain Fine Arts. Now he and Tori create a variety of art at their home under the name of Rising Phoenix Metalworks.
Baker City’s Public Arts Commission
The Public Arts Commission was established in 2014 to pursue the placement of public art in public places within Baker City.
So far, art installations have included:
• A series of playground paintings by Alyssa Peterson at City Hall
• A cattle drive at City Hall
• Two sculptures in Central Park
• An artistic bench, bike rack and trash receptacle at the Leo Adler Memorial Pathway extension in south Baker City.
The commission also facilitates the Art on Loan program. The artwork in that program is available for purchase after the year loan is finished.
The red leaf in Central Park and the Whitings’ geometric sculpture are part of this program.
Applications for the placement of public art are available on the City’s website: http://bakercity.com/2164/Public-Arts-Commission.