New art from renowned Glen Ellen artist, Bryan Tedrick, will be installed this week at St. Anne’s Crossing Winery in Kenwood, the sculpture was commissioned by winery owner, Ken Wilson.
Ken Wilson has commissioned a third sculpture from local artist Bryan Tedrick. The 28’ tall grizzly bear will make its home in Sonoma Valley–the location of the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846, with the grizzly bear itself a symbolic icon of both Sonoma Valley and California. Fabricated in steel, the 15-ton bear sculpture will be installed at St. Anne’s Crossing Winery in Kenwood, taking its place among the largest sculptures in Sonoma County. Installation begins this Wednesday, January 19, and will progress in stages over the subsequent days culminating with the rotating head of the ferocious grizzly bear to be installed by crane.
This impressive feat of art has been in development for over 30 months, just down the road from St. Anne’s Crossing at Tedrick’s Glen Ellen studio. Ken Wilson is drawn to Tedrick’s art for many reasons, but is most engaged by Tedrick’s fondness for both large scale and fine detail—the way his use of steel and various materials provides definition down to the sinewy detail of muscle structure. The sculpture is endowed with even greater meaning for Ken Wilson, as it incorporates recycled steel from his Soda Rock Winery Tasting Room which burned down in the 2019 Kincade Fire.
Wilson was first introduced to Tedrick’s work through the striking Bull structure on the street in Cloverdale, but really fell in love when Tedrick’s Coyote, first debuted at the 2013 Burning Man festival, was installed at the Geyserville Sculpture Trail. Wilson later purchased the Coyote which now reigns over Dry Creek Valley at the front of Wilson Winery. In 2016, Ken Wilson purchased another of Tedrick’s pieces, dubbed “Lord Snort,” – a giant wild boar, which had also debuted at Burning Man; it now lives at Soda Rock Winery in Alexander Valley, its sturdy construction having survived the fires. Ken Wilson is proud to be a patron of a talented local artist and to be able to highlight his stunning artwork in the high profile location of St. Anne’s Crossing Winery on Sonoma Highway.
Bryan Tedrick specializes in large, metal, kinetic work, and recognizes the compulsion to interact with his large scale pieces, which are created with the intention of allowing viewers to touch and climb. Tedrick’s sculptures are meant to work in harmony with their environment, and can be seen in many locations around Sonoma County and beyond, including “Victory” at the Geyserville Sculpture Trail, “Valley of the Moon” in Oakmont, “Bucephalus” in Santa Rosa, and more. From Tedrick: “Doing a bear was Ken’s inspiration, my task was to bring it to life. The attitude he asked for was ferocious, and thus the pose. I incorporated some used steel recycled from local sources such as water pipes from Sobre Vista (the fur), light standards from the city of Sonoma (hands and feet), conveyor belt chain from the sawmill in Cloverdale (neck area), and beams from the charred remains of Soda Rock Winery (lower leg).
Interpretation of this bear, its meaning, is really as varied as the viewers. The Bear, to me, is a reminder of the wildlife that surrounds us and the will to survive. I am grateful to have been able to create this powerful sculpture and share it locally! My studio is only a few miles away and I have been able to work there for over 25 years thanks to the Gordenker Family”.
Most Californians are familiar with the state flag, but many do not know of its origins in Sonoma County. Ken Wilson wanted to honor Sonoma County’s important place in the history of California with this magnificent bear. The Bear Flag Revolt of 1846 took place in Sonoma Valley, when a group of rebels won a victory against General Vallejo and declared California an independent republic. The victorious rebels constructed a makeshift flag with a drawing of a grizzly bear and a star symbolizing their new republic, which lasted just 25 days until the bear flag was replaced by the US flag representing California’s official place as a member of the United States. The grizzly bear flag later became the basis for the official flag of the state of California in 1911, and the grizzly bear itself has become an enduring symbol of California and the rich history of the Sonoma Valley.
Bryan Tedrick will be on hand at St. Anne’s Crossing Winery for the installation, and is available for questions regarding his work in general as well as specifics about his Bear piece. St. Anne’s Crossing Winery will be hosting an official unveiling where guests will be able to interact with the new sculpture while enjoying some of the 5 gold-medal winning wines from this year’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Members of the press and visitors to the winery are welcome to photograph The Bear during installation and upon completion. See below for some in-progress photos of the Bear from Tedrick’s studio. Additional images and high-resolution versions available upon request.
About Wilson Artisan Wines
Diane and Ken Wilson are devoted to the stewardship and sustainable farming of their 600 plus vineyard acres known as the Wilson Artisan Wineries, which consist of eleven wine brands: Wilson Winery, Mazzocco Winery, deLorimier Winery, Soda Rock Winery, Matrix Winery, Jaxon Keys Winery & Distillery, Pezzi King Vineyards, St. Anne’s Crossing Winery, Rockpile Vineyards, Coyote Sonoma, and Greenwood Ridge Vineyards. These vineyards provide premium quality fruit that have brought notable recognition to the Wilson Artisan winery brands, with frequent accolades, most recently, a historic 109 Gold Medals at the 2022 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Diane, a native Californian, cherishes her high-energy lifestyle including making wine at the Wilson Artisan Wineries, running marathons in her spare time, and taking an active role in the community. Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, Ken Wilson is a savvy business entrepreneur within the agricultural and hospitality industries. It was Ken’s wisdom and vision that created the diversity of vineyard sources over the years. Currently their three children have become integral to the family business with Sydney Wilson who is currently managing Healdsburg’s historic Grape Leaf Inn and Calderwood Inn, Victoria Wilson as Assistant Winemaker at Matrix Winery and Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, and Sawyer Wilson, who manages sales for Matrix Winery, and leads the VIP Tours program for Wilson Artisan Wines in addition to his new ownership of the Pinschower Inn in Cloverdale.