The Fort Seward Sculpture Garden in Haines involves more than a dozen local artists. Each has their own vision of what they want to add to the burnt-out barracks where many of the installations are placed. Some blend in, but Tresham Gregg’s piece stands out. The metal sculpture is a sort of phoenix rising from the ashes. But with an Alaska twist.
“It’s just a concept of mine where the Northern Lights turn into eagles and ravens. And in this case, both at the same time,” Gregg said. “So it’s kind of a love spirit, the merge of the ravens and eagles of the Native tradition…it’s a balance between the two — a peace symbol, in a sense.”
The piece is called ‘Aurora Alter.’ Gregg also plans to create an alter out of the rubble rocks of the barracks.
The longtime Haines resident is stepping out of his comfort zone for this project.
“It’s an experiment on my part…I’m not really a metal sculptor, I’m a wood scupltor.”
Like he’s done before, Gregg is teaching himself to work with a new medium. The seven-by-four-foot peice was made out of stainless steel and cut with a plasma cutter.
“It’s got an eagle head on one side and a raven head on the other. And then their wings become Northern Lights.”
He colored the metal with a propane torch. Purple, blue, and rust colors slowly worked their way onto the silver metal.
“I’m enchanted with the concept of the Northern Lights and the eagle and the raven,” Gregg said. “I think what I’m trying to acheive here is something rising out of the rubble as opposed to just blending in with the rubble.”
The Alaska Arts Confluence project is funded by a grant from the ArtPlace America Foundation.
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