Sculpture on SV Drive first step in 'art corridor'
by Joe Shreve
Jan 30, 2014 | 867 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
Lucjan Szewczyk/Press-Banner
Those driving along Scotts Valley Drive in recent weeks may have noticed a metal sculpture adorning the median island of the roadway between the Scotts Valley Middle School and Erba Lane.

Dedicated on Wednesday, Jan. 15, the sculpture is a collaboration of the Scotts Valley Arts Commission, the City of Scotts Valley, and Santa Cruz sculptor Kirk McNeil, owner of the Freedom Forge.

McNeil said that his sculpture, titled “Four Energies,” is made of half-inch steel plate, cut and shaped with torches. It depict four figures symbolizing the first four energies of Tai Chi — ward off, roll back, press, and suppress.

“As an artist, I use things I'm experiencing in my life, and I've been studying Tai Chi,” said McNeil, who dedicated the piece to the memory of his friend and teacher Jim Mullen. “Positive, negative and positive movement all worked out in the piece.”

He said that he was approached nearly three years ago about the possibility of placing one of his pieces on public display by Claire Hodgin, chair of the Scotts Valley Arts Commission, after she saw his work during an Open Studios tour.

“The goal of the Scotts Valley Arts Commission is to make Scotts Valley Drive into an art corridor,” McNeil said. “I had a piece and I was willing.”

Officially, he said, the piece is on loan to the city and is up for sale. Should it be purchased, McNeil said, he would be happy to place a new piece on display.

The Scotts Valley Arts Commission announced that it will accept applications for other artists to displace their art Scotts Valley Drive. Application forms are available at Scotts Valley City Hall, 1 Civic Center Drive, either by email or hard copy.

For more information about Kirk McNeil, call 427-3422 or email

Scotts Valley has become more of an art destination during the past several years. The Arts Commission has sponsored utility boxes to be painted, and the non-profit Scotts Valley Artisans has organized three large-scale Mural-in-a-Day pieces painted on buildings around the city.

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