‘feeder fish’, like these anchovies abound this time of year (public domain image)
I’ve begun making the scale models for our giant, mosaic fish sculptures that will live permanently outside the new building for the Ocean View branch of the San Francisco Public Library. Funded by the San Francisco Arts Commission, the project is the latest wowhaus public art project, and continues our ongoing exploration of the role of watersheds in the habitat of a bioregion. The largest sculpture, about 8′ tall, is an homage to the tiny feeder fish that thrive along sandy shores within view of the library, particularly the California Grunion (Leuresthes tenuis), who are known to occasionally spawn on nearby beaches under the new and full moons during springtime.
California grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) spawn at night on beaches (public domain)
Ene and I like the idea of heroizing such an invisible but essential maritime food source, without which the web of life would collapse. We think the concept of ‘feeder fish’ in general is an apt metaphor for the role of public libraries in a democracy. The second sculpture will be a stylized, scaled up version of the Vermilion Rockfish (Sebastes miniatus), still a familiar fish living close to shore that was once an important food source for the Coast Miwok and the early immigrants to San Francisco’s shores.
study for the steel armature for the 8′ high fish sculpture