The finished piece was displayed at MadArt Space from January 25 through May 8th, 2015, before traveling to art fairs and museums, including the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. The piece is currently on view in the lobby of the Seattle Art Museum downtown. After the sculpture has been exhibited over several years, it will be placed at the foot of the tree from which it was cast, gradually mossing over and degrading into the forest floor.
In 2014, MadArt Space welcomed Middle Fork, the newest sculpture by local artist John Grade. After spending several weeks on site in the woods of North Bend, John transported plaster molds of a live 140-year-old hemlock tree into the new large-scale artists’ studio at 325 Westlake for further transformation. The intricate wood structure built around the casts was made from salvaged old-growth cedar bonded with waterproof glue. Once the smaller pieces were in place and refined, the interior supporting plaster was removed, leaving a hollow structure. The sculpture was eventually oriented horizontally and suspended from the ceiling so that the center of the trunk was at eye level. Limbs radiated outward toward the floor, walls, and ceiling, allowing visitors to view a familiar organic form from new perspectives.
Middle Fork was created from 2014-2015 by John Grade, with his team of assistants and volunteers.