Napa Valley Register – South Napa Center debuts piece

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Artist Peter Deise is so attached to his newest sculpture that he drove two days from his home in Arizona to personally deliver the 3,500-pound artwork to its intended resting place in Napa.

The orange steel piece was installed on Wednesday between two new buildings under construction at the South Napa Century Center.

After the piece had been carefully set into place with a giant crane, Deise admitted he was feeling separation anxiety.

“I’ve been living with this for five months,” he said of the artwork. Delivering the sculpture “is like birthing.”

Deise’s creation is 14 feet long, 6 feet tall and 28 inches wide. It’s made of powder-coated steel plates which have been formed using fire into undulating ribbons or waves. Each orange “ribbon” is then welded into place.

The finishing process included several steps. First, a zinc undercoat was applied to prevent rust. Then two layers of orange powder coat were sprayed on.

Deise said he chose orange in part because it reminded him of flames. Lastly, an UV gloss clear coat was added.

Deise said he expects the art will weather over time and the bright orange color will eventually change.

“I’d love to see it in 40 years.”

Deise said it took him five months to complete the piece, which does not have an official title. The artist said he doesn’t usually name his works. Instead, he likes each visitor to interpret his art without any directions or written influences.

His hope is that anyone who views the art “will be affected by it in some way.”

The sculpture, which cost approximately $60,000, was commissioned by the Gasser Foundation to fulfill the public art requirement for new developments in the city.

Andy Byrnes, president of the Construction Zone, a Phoenix architectural construction firm, managed the selection of the artwork.

Byrnes is also a partner in the Forge Pizza restaurant business located next to the installation.

“I just love his work,” Byrnes said of Deise. “You can see the effort it took to make it.”

The sculpture was paid for by the Gasser Foundation, said Byrnes. In addition to the art, river rocks and a bench will be added to the space.

Another Forge restaurant partner, Bob Burke of Lafayette, said he is also pleased with the final result.

“It’s amazing,” said Burke. “I knew Andy would find the right artist and the right piece” for the space, he said. “I can’t wait,” to see the artwork lit up at night.

“Peter is a well-known artist in Phoenix with a number of commissions there,” said Gasser Foundation spokesman Joe Fischer.

“It is exciting to bring his work here” and “a great addition to the the aesthetic experience” of the Century Center, he said.

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