CapRadio Presents: Beauty from Ashes
CapRadio Presents Beauty From Ashes with Artist Shane Grammer:
August 10th I had an awesome show of my recent body of work “Beauty From Ashes,” reflecting a hopeful portrayal of the devastation and beauty following the Camp Fire of 2018, which affected Paradise, CA and surrounding communities.
River of Life
l designed an art installation with an additional aspect that I was excited to experiment with. My hope is that it would give a greater impact to those who experience it. At dusk, the installation took on a whole new life, a whole different meaning using ultra violet paint and sculpted geometric shapes.
I created this art installation for the Gulbransen Family. A family that escaped Paradise with fire all around them praying to Jesus Christ to protect them. A close friend of the Gulbransen family contacted me and asked if I would paint Jesus on what was left of their property. This was my perfect chance to experiment with a few creative ideas i have had for awhile now. I have been wanting to paint something on plexiglass because of the transparency as well as incorporate geometric shapes that I have been using in my art for about five years.
The geometric shapes to me represent rebirth or a change into something beautiful. As coal is crushed over time it turns into a diamond. That is my hope for the community of Paradise and the Ridge.
Finding a Church to paint was important for Shane, having a strong background in Christianity. He reached out to a few churches in the area, but they were not interested in his vision. The idea in his mind persisted, and soon a Worship Pastor at Hope Community Church reached out. This was the location he was seeing in his mind! Or was it?
Arriving on location, it seemed like there wasn’t anything left to paint. Everything had been leveled. The main sanctuary was gone, and lots of twisted metal and siding lay all about. Walking around the location, Shane checked all angles… when he saw it.
A square piece of scorched concrete that once was used as a baptismal lay almost intact before him right in the middle of the building. Shane felt this would be meaningful for what he envisioned. The mural would be a painting simply entitled Jesus. Although the walls had fallen all around, what remained standing behind the baptismal was the cross which once stood affixed to a wall now standing on its own. Shane later found out the Worship Pastor who reached out was married and baptised in that spot.
“Tomorrow’s Dream” was a powerful vision for Shane. He had got inspiration from other artists using plastic wrap as a canvas and wanted to incorporate the same medium into his work at Paradise, the look is compelling for the message he wanted to convey.
The perfect location was where a home once stood overlooking a ridge into a beautiful valley. Shane wanted to create a mural painted this mural in the same spot that captured the spectacular view the homeowner used to see.
During painting, Shane slipped down the ridge, falling about 6 feet and was fortunately okay. Once steadied from the fall, he wrapped plastic around two trees about 18 feet apart, framing the view. The burned trees of the valley below can be seen through the beautiful face painted there.This mural was not meant to last long and after three weeks of abuse from the weather and elements, he took it down.
Shane can’t help but think when he goes to these locations, to reflect- what it would be like to be put in the shoes of the owners who lost their homes- their lives. And to dream the best of what tomorrow may bring them as they rebuild.
Ron Howard Mural
Ron Howard, an American filmmaker and actor, known for his work on movies such as A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man, and most recently Solo: A Star Wars Story, reached out to Shane after his team found the murals. They are working on a documentary and wanted Shane’s murals to be in it.
Aptly named, Ron Howard’s Mural, Shane was commissioned to recreate a mural in front of film crews. It was shot in the entryway of a house. “It looked like a movie set” Shane remembers.
Shane received permission from the owner who is 85 years old, named Doug whose story was short. A firefighter showed up and told Doug he had little time to leave. So instead of packing his bags, Doug jumped onto his late wife’s motorcycle with only the clothes on his back and took off. Upon return, it was apparent that everything had been lost.
To create this mural Shane used a couple poles set up in the middle of the wreckage. He wrapped a wire around them and attached them to the wreckage. He then wrapped the poles with plastic to preserve the view that stood behind it, and painted another woman’s face using spray paint.