Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Bear Hotel

I would like to clarify the post below. First of all, sorry for the disorganization of the pictures and the print –we are having technical difficulties. I would like to explain what our field trip really was for the few readers that don’t know us, southern Oregon, Brady or the Bear Hotel. Brady Adams is the President of Evergreen Bank. The bank puts on a lot of events and supports local artists. The Nutcrackers line the sidewalks of downtown Grants Pass during the holidays. I believe all the animals in the “what the hell” photo below are used in the Christmas Village the bank puts out every year for the kids. Who the heck knows why there are leather fish…they were displayed somewhere in Grants Pass. All this stuff is stored out of season in the Bear Hotel.

The Bear Hotel is HUGE. Besides storage for all the holiday statuary there are “booths” set up in the back for artists to work on their projects. At this time the artists are commissioned to paint for a door project. Each artist is given a door and a space to work. I’m not really clear on the other details of the project, maybe Paul B can shed some more light on it- he is one of the lucky artists that gets to work there.

And finally, the reason it is called the Bear Hotel. Once upon a time in Europe, someone had the idea to give artists a similar blank piece of sculpture and let them run wild. It started with cows. There were many versions of this project done in US cities; the one I’m most familiar with is Cow Parade NYC that took place in 2000. The general idea is that artists create pieces all using the same mold and then taking off from there. The pieces then are auctioned off for charity. This proved to be wildly popular and some cities used different animals besides cows. Seattle had pigs and Grants Pass had bears. So, all the bears they didn’t auction off in GP were sent to live at the Bear Hotel. All the bears in the pics below were from that project.

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