Unseen Natives: Moving the fish on a rainy day

This is my adventure into creating an art installation for the Art in Rural Storefronts project sponsored by The Arts Center of Corvallis. ARS serves regional audiences in Linn and Benton Counties by bringing innovative, thought- provoking art projects to rural communities that lack spaces dedicated to contemporary/non-commercial art.  Three artists  were chosen to participate.  The project is funded in part by the Oregon Arts Commission.

Of course, the weather had to change on the day I needed to move the fish. Well, what can ya do? Take precautions and move forward. Tuesday, I had purchased several rolls of foam knowing it would come in handy for moving the sections. Below is one of the “eye” rows.


I layered paper between fish top and the next layer of foam. Once all layers of foam and fish were compiled, I pulled them onto the laminated pine board they would eventually hang from. Two extra large plastic bags and tape and they were set to meet the elements.


Do I have all my tools? That’s been one of the tricky parts to working off-site. My lists are made on site, at home (any hour of the night) and double checked before heading out. If I don’t have it or it breaks, well, there is always “plan B”. I don’t have keys for the site so I rely upon the owner to let me in. I tell her what time to expect me and she is there. I stay until I’m finished and the door locks behind me. Sarah has been incredible for accommodating my entry times.  I’m equally impressed with her business partner Tiffany and Sarah’s family.  I feel so lucky to be working in their space.

I did get a rain/wind break to move the fish to the car, but  caught up with the storm in Sweet Home. Bummer!


Once the Isuzu was unloaded, I could start laying out the curved pattern for drilling holes. This took a lot longer than anticipated. It was an especially cold and dark day in the space. Glad I had the little lights purchased the day before!

If I were to do this project again, I would try using plexi glass rather than solid wood. You’ll seen in the photos to come.



Since I didn’t pack a scroll saw I couldn’t rid myself of the waste wood very easily. Plexi glass…. would have been good. No ugly shadow or shape visible. Next time!

Below is what I accomplished with hanging: the center row. At least it was something folks could look at.



View from inside looking out.


Next post is Friday: the day the fish is fully assembled!

Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

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