We are excited to announce that Tahoe Public Art has unveiled its first installation of the Tahoe Public Art Trail, “Ursa Mater,” in Heritage Plaza. Ursa Mater, a statement of a mother’s love and protection, is both endearing and powerful. The 12-foot tall mother grizzly bear nestles her two cubs, the tallest is 6 feet tall, while the other is 5 feet tall. The sculpture’s coat is made from 200,000 pennies that were meticulously placed from shiny ones to older ones to make them look like fur, welcoming a tactile experience. Ursa Mater is the first of 12 sites that Tahoe Public Art has secured around the lake for the Art Trail. This breathtakingly beautiful and educational piece will be on exhibit through July 2019.
Husband and wife artists, Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson, create detailed, interactive, often whimsical large-scale artworks that change visual and sensual perception as one gets closer to the art, including their penny-covered grizzly bears that premiered at Burning Man. Ursa Mater can help audiences become more aware of the disappearance of the endangered grizzly bear, who inspired this art, and become informed advocates helping to prevent their extinction.
The Tahoe Public Art Trail program places temporary and mobile environmental art installations at public, private, and resort locations around the Lake Tahoe Basin in California and Nevada. The goal of the program is to have a transformational effect on the greater Lake Tahoe community through art created by local, national, and international artists that incorporate local environmental themes and respond to socially relevant solutions. The program is designed to engage audiences in contemplating their civic responsibility and instill lasting values that embrace the preservation of the unique and fragile ecological diversity of the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Tahoe Public Art’s mission is to enhance the cultural landscape of the Tahoe Region by providing dynamic art experiences inspired by the Lake Tahoe Basin’s natural beauty and heritage to create momentum towards local environmental and preservation efforts. TPA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in California and Nevada.
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