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Railroad museum showcases scrap metal sculptures

"A Big Wheel" by Ray Carrington
"A Big Wheel" by Ray Carrington

SACRAMENTO — California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum debut a playful new exhibit titled “Welded Workers and Fused Faces: The Sawmill and Railroad Sculptures of Ray Carrington” on Nov. 8.

The all-new exhibit will showcase approximately three dozen sculptures made from scrap metal over a 45-year period and created by Carrington, an artist from Fairfield. The prized pieces featured in the exhibition are drawn from the University of California at Berkeley Center for Forestry’s “Carrington Sawmill and Railroad Sculpture Collection,” which contains 235 of Carrington’s metal sculptures.

For the sawmill pieces, Carrington used materials and objects from three Northern California sawmills — Mount Shasta Pine Lumber Co., Mount Shasta; Long Bell Lumber Co., Weed; and McCloud Lumber Co., McCloud — and formed them into sculpture intended to catch the experience, energy, force, and spirit of bygone lumbering days. Each piece is a simple assemblage preserving the identities of the original tools and parts from which they are fashioned.

The materials used in Carrington’s “Railroad Worker” series were obtained from various railroad lines in northern California, including the Sacramento Northern (an electric railway which once stretched from Oakland to Chico via Sacramento); Southern Pacific (once the state’s largest railroad and transportation company); McCloud River; and Fruit Growers’ Supply (Hilt). Many of the railroad spikes, track plates and tools are worn, pitted and ravaged by time and use. Some even still bear the markings of their original use.

Since 1966, exhibits of Carrington’s imaginative sculptures have been in held in galleries from the San Francisco Bay area to Washington, D.C., Chicago, Illinois and Portland, Ore. The “Welded Workers and Fused Faces” exhibit will be located in the Lobby Gallery near the entrance of the Railroad Museum and will remain on display through October 2014.

The California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento State Historic Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $10 adults, $5 youths ages 6-17, free for children ages 5 and younger.

For more information visit csrmf.org or call (916) 445-6645.

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Posted by on Oct 27 2013.
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