Redmond Celebrates Chucks in Public Places

Rock chucks are now all over downtown Redmond, creatively decorated and standing still.  Over twenty rock chuck sculptures were painted and decorated by local artists which are displayed at participating businesses throughout the community for the summer months.

The Chuck’s in Public Places will features larger-than-life, three dimensional, rock chuck sculptures – painted, decorated, and embellished.

The “Chuck” sculptures will connect to Central Oregon’s yellow-bellied marmots while embracing and supporting contemporary local art. “We hope to further highlight the uniqueness of our community with an accessible art installation,” states Heather Richards, community development director for the City of Redmond. “This traffic building event provides a new platform of support and recognition for local artists and will bring public awareness to our art program.”

Chucks in Public Places is four years in the making.  Redmond’s Committee for Art in Public Places (RCAPP) identified a rock chuck sculpture installation four years ago to celebrate Redmond’s own indigenous yellow bellied marmot.  However, the costs of pursuing a fiberglass sculpture program like other cities, such as Seattle and Denver proved cost prohibitive.  So, in true Redmond fashion, Redmond volunteers stepped up with their own skills and innovations to produce twenty polystyrene sculptures with very little costs.

Betty Jo Simmons, a member of RCAPP and a carousel animal carver, carved a whimsical wooden image of a rock chuck.   Anne Graham, a retired engineer and a Redmond City Councilor, devised a mold from the carving and hand-produced twenty plastic models for the program. Local artists then took the rock chuck forms and let their imagination and talents run free, culminating in twenty spectacular interpretations of Central Oregon’s renowned varmint.

The Chucks in Public Places art display will run through August 19.

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