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Albany Sculptor Brings Art Back to East Bay Shoreline

Friday July 18, 2003

Pedestrians and bikers along the San Francisco Bay Trail in Emeryville will now be able to see an addition to the waterfront landscape: a dozen statues on posts three feet in the air. 

On Thursday afternoon, passersby along Interstate 80 in Emeryville could see Albany artist Tyler Hoare on a ladder propped up in a small boat, climbing to the top of posts that formerly held a wooden dock. Though the dock has been demolished and replaced, the posts remain, leaving Hoare platforms on which to place his newest series of statues. 

“[The posts] are perfect because they’re elevated and people can see them really nicely,” he said. 

The new works of art are all abstract sculptures of people in colors ranging from white to black to rainbow striped. The faces of the people look out on to the water, welcoming boaters returning to the East Bay. 

High winds made the task of mounting the statues a bit more difficult Thursday because of the relatively large waves that they created. But Hoare succeeded in climbing up his ladder to the top of each post, mounting a brightly colored creation on top of each and nailing it down with a hammer attached to his belt. 

“These winds are too strong,” he yelled back to the dock at one point, shortly before he made it to the top of the second-to-last pillar. 

Hoare is the same artist responsible for the Snoopy and Red Baron statues that stood in the Berkeley Marina from 1975 until 2000. Many residents and motorists grew to love the statues, which eventually came down because of high winds and were not replaced because of permitting issues. 

“I’ve seen the Snoopy statues, and so this is a fun little memory of them,” said Sam Chen, who took a break from jogging along the Bay Trail to watch Hoare mounting the sculptures. “I wish we had something like it still in Berkeley.”