Ken Wilson to install 28ft bear sculpture along Sonoma Freeway in Kenwood, CA

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New artwork by renowned Glen Ellen artist Bryan Tedrick will be installed this week at the St. Anne’s Crossing winery in Kenwood, the sculpture was commissioned by winery owner Ken Wilson.

Ken Wilson commissioned a third sculpture from local artist Bryan Tedrick. The 28-foot-tall grizzly bear will take up residence in Sonoma Valley, the site of the 1846 Bear Flag Rebellion, with the grizzly bear itself a symbolic icon of Sonoma Valley and California. Made of 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 continue in stages over the next few days culminating in the ferocious grizzly bear’s rotating head being installed by crane.

This impressive artistic feat 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 he is most drawn to Tedrick’s penchant for large scale and fine detail – the way his use of steel and various materials provides definition down to the nervous details of the muscular structure. The sculpture holds even greater meaning for Ken Wilson, as it incorporates recycled steel from his Soda Rock Winery tasting room that burned down in the 2019 Kincade fire.

Wilson was first introduced to Tedrick’s work through the striking Bull structure across the street in Cloverdale, but truly fell in love when Tedrick’s Coyote, which debuted at the 2013 Burning Man festival, was installed at the Geyserville Sculpture Trail . Wilson then purchased the Coyote that now rules Dry Creek Valley at the front of Wilson Winery. In 2016, Ken Wilson purchased another Tedrick piece, dubbed “Lord Snort”, a giant boar, which had also debuted in Burning Man; it now lives at Soda Rock Winery in Alexander Valley, its sturdy build having survived the fires. Ken Wilson is proud to be the patron of a talented local artist and to be able to showcase his stunning works of art in the prestigious location of St. Anne’s Crossing Winery on Sonoma Highway.

Bryan Tedrick specializes in large metal and kinetic work and recognizes the need to interact with his large-scale pieces, which are created with the intent of allowing viewers to touch and climb. Tedrick’s sculptures are said to work in harmony with their surroundings and can be seen in many places in 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: “Making a bear was Ken’s inspiration, my task was to bring it to life. The attitude he demanded was fierce, and so was the pose. I incorporated used steel recycled from local sources such as water pipes from Sobre Vista (the fur), streetlights from the city of Sonoma (hands and feet), a treadmill chain from the Cloverdale sawmill (neck area), and beams from the charred remains of Soda Rock Winery (lower leg).

The interpretation of this bear, its meaning, is really as varied as the viewers. The bear, to me, is a reminder of the wildlife around us and the will to survive. I am grateful to have been able to create this powerful sculpture and share it locally! My workshop is only a few kilometers away and I have been working there for more than 25 years thanks to the Gordenker family”.

Most Californians are familiar with the state flag, but many are unaware of its Sonoma County origins. Ken Wilson wanted to honor Sonoma County’s important place in California history with this magnificent bear. The Bear Flag Rebellion of 1846 took place in the Sonoma Valley, when a group of rebels won a victory over General Vallejo and declared California an independent republic. The victorious rebels built a makeshift flag with a design of a grizzly bear and a star symbolizing their new republic, which only lasted 25 days until the bear flag was replaced by the American flag representing California’s official place as a member of the United States. The grizzly bear flag later became the basis of California’s official state flag in 1911, and the grizzly bear itself has become an enduring symbol of California and the Sonoma Valley’s rich history.

Bryan Tedrick will be at St. Anne’s Crossing Winery for the installation, and is available for questions regarding his work in general as well as details about his Bear artwork. St. Anne’s Crossing Winery will host an official unveiling where guests can interact with the new sculpture while tasting some of the 5 gold-winning wines from this year’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Members of the press and visitors to the winery are invited 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 Craft Wines

Diane and Ken Wilson are dedicated to the stewardship and sustainable agriculture of their more than 600 acres of vineyards known as 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 fruit that has brought notable recognition to the Wilson Artisan winery brands, with frequent accolades, most recently a historic 109 Gold Medal in the 2022 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Diane, a California native, cherishes her energetic lifestyle, which includes making wine at Wilson Artisan Vineyards, 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 entrepreneur in the agriculture and hospitality industries. It is Ken’s wisdom and vision that has created the diversity of vineyard sources over the years. Currently, their three children are an integral part of the family business with Sydney Wilson 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 runs the VIP Tours program for Wilson Artisan Wines in addition to its new ownership of the Pinschower Inn in Cloverdale.

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