‘Upside Down’ art finds spot in Cotati
Latest CAP piece done by SSU’s Engelhardt
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By Dave Williams  October 13, 2011 09:30 am

Another work of art has found its home in Cotati, thanks to Sonoma State University art graduate Missy Engelhardt.

Her sculpture, “Upside Down,” was placed in the lawn area behind the Boy Scout Hut at the corner La Plaza and Old Redwood Highway on Wednesday afternoon after a brief ceremony hosted by the Cotati Art Project. Actually, her work is a sculpture of multiple pieces shaped to look like fluffed pillows. The unique thing about her work is that it allows people to sit on them as if they are benches.

“This took about five or six months to complete,” said Engelhardt, a 23-year-old originally from Lodi. “I wanted it to be like a marker, sort of like a gravestone. I also wanted to cut it like small benches so it’s functional. When I originally proposed the idea, I was told the city wanted a piece here.”

Each piece of art placed throughout the city via the Cotati Art Project is accompanied by a permanent plaque by a sponsor who paid $2,000 for the spot. This particular locale was sponsored by Exchange Bank in honor of longtime employee Nadine Wolford.

Nearly 3,000 pounds of cement were needed to complete this project, and $500 came out of Engelhardt’s pocket. But she said the cement bases and the metal were donated.

Engelhardt, who earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree, plans to pursue her Masters at the San Francisco Art Academy.

The dedication was delayed a few minutes because Engelhardt’s parents were stuck in traffic while driving from Lodi, which is 15 minutes north of Stockton.

“It’s great to have them here,” she said.

Engelhardt realizes she was given a rare opportunity to make an impact on the community she has called home for the past five years.

“It’s really amazing because I’ve only been here for five years, but I get a chance to leave a mark and to show who I am as an artist.”

The Cotati Arts Project, the Cotati Chamber of Commerce and SSU have been working in conjunction on placing sculptures throughout the city. The plan is to place permanent plaques - dedicated to prominent citizens or organizations that have made positive impacts on Cotati - on the concrete bases. The cost of each base is estimated at around $2,000, including the building of the concrete base, transportation of the base, its installation and the plaque. And the monies for each base will come strictly from donations.

The first of the sculptures - a seven-foot sculpture of Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom - was created by renowned theater set designer Peter Crompton. Athena was placed in April at Rose Park near the American Legion flagpole, across the street from the Jim Boggio statue in La Plaza Park.

Post Your Comments:
Jade Dalton
December 12, 2011
I am so glad to read your article and follow your site.
I think Sonoma State University art graduate Missy Engelhardt's work
is unique and can easily be attributed to the work of L. R. Emerson II ? the original Upside-Down Artist going back to 1984.

Your followers need to also see the Upside-Down Art of L. R. Emerson II at www.e4fineart.com. Emerson's Upside-Down art has been created from 30 years of research and determination to break the Glass Ceiling of art history.

Today, Emerson?s art has secured a change in Art Education where composition can no longer be classified as symmetrical, asymmetrical or radial but also included Emerson?s pioneering work in multi-directional composition. We live in the time when art education texts will be rewritten across the planet due to Emerson?s inventions and study.

Emerson was recently praised by renown artist Georg Baselitz who commented he found Emerson?s work "...inspiring.? Baselitz Own art has sold for in excess of $4.2 million dollars at recent auction.

L. R. Emerson II?s 2011 work has also involved creating his Upside Down Art, known as Masg: from Gaelic meaning to mix; or infuse for legendary, Grammy winning recording artist Leon Russell.

L. R. Emerson II presented work to Leon in the spring of 2011 featuring Mr. Russell, who was on tour with Elton John to promote the Union album with commemorative posters for his induction into the rock and roll Hall of Fame.
n the pieces, Emerson featured Leon Russell in inverted, multi-Directional poses; one pose being the younger Leon and the latter depicting Leon today ? still rocking.
The poster series is part of a comprehensive set featuring Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Bono and others notable musicians. Emerson created art for Leon from 1990-93 so this culminating effort to memorialize Leon Russell within an Upside Down Artwork was fitting. Emerson?s expectation is to release the limited edition posters for sale by early 2012.
Again, Emerson set the mark from 1984 and onward to begin what is today a major trend and art movement in multi-directional composition or rather Upside-Down Art. The Art Books will need to be revised to include their avenue of compositional variant and the Art Historians, Art Critics and Museums have finally lost the stronghold on evolutionary changes to Art Education and practice.
New mediums often come along these days as but never does one change the standards as Emerson ahs certainly done. Thanks for sharing.
Jade Dalton
Dallas Harmon
November 17, 2011
Please also see the Upside-Down Art of L. R. Emerson II at www.e4fineart.com.

With over 100 awrds to date, Emerson began making his unusal art in 1984 and today has garnerd the respect of world renown artist Georg Baselitz who's own art has recently fetched $4.2 at auction.

Baselitz called Upside Down Artist L.R.Emerson II "...inspiring!"

Since 2005 Emerson's work has been known accross the planet and has made art history as he continues to push the envelope of modern artmaking and design. Emerson's work is exhibited each year at the prominent Museum Of Modern Art in Virginia Beach, Virgina, USA

In 2014, L. R. Emerson II will celebrate his 30 year annivery and contribution to the arts by donating a significant number of works to musuems worldwide.

Dallas Harmon
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