James Karthein and Kevin Kratz, the blacksmiths and metal artists who won the City’s contract to produce a major work of public art to anchor the Grizzly Plaza Extension at the intersection of Third and Mackenzie said Wednesday they will be ready to begin installing the two complex sculptures of sturgeon and kokanee on June 14.
The two men brought a sample fish — steel kokanee that is 1.25 times life-size — to a meeting of the Public Art Committee where the graceful metal fish immediately captivated committee members.
“Every fish will be different,” Karthein told the committee. “They will look as though they schooling and swimming naturally.”
Hammered out of steel that has been heated 2,000° the different elements of the sculptures will pop your eyeballs and are bound to draw people up Mackenzie. There will be two nine-foot steel sturgeons and about two dozen steel kokanee. All of them will be fixed to large stones by extremely sturdy and unbreakable steel grasses.
“You’re not going to be bending and snapping these off,” Kratz said.
Karhein said they have moved the installation date ahead to June 14. The entire sculpture will be finished on each side of Mackenzie Avenue in time for its inauguration on July 1.