Photographer and Professor Jeremiah Gilbert is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the project ‘Art in the Desert: Olancha Sculpture Garden’. To see Jeremiah ’s body of work, click on any image.
Highway 395 runs through the states of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington before terminating at the Canada-U.S. border. There are many peculiarities to be found along its 1,305 mile (2,100 km) distance, including the remnants of the AirFlite Café seen in the second season Twilight Zone episode “A Hundred Yards Over the Rim” (1961) and the Lemon House, a former roadside attraction that is now part of the Lemon House Inn located in Cartago, California, with a population of under 100.
Near both of these oddities lies another roadside attraction: the Olancha Sculpture Garden. This collection of over a dozen metal sculptures lies just off the side of the highway, though the dirt road entrance is easy to miss as there is no signage. The sculptures are the creation of artist Jael Hoffmann. Born in Israel, she lived in Berlin before moving to the United States. She works with metal and often infuses references to internal conflict into her art.
Pieces in the sculpture garden range in size from only a few feet to over 15 feet (4.5 meters) in height, all standing beneath the skyline of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. One particularly colorful piece, “Give and Take,” encourages visitors to leave an item in one container and take something from the adjacent container in return. Another sculpture, “The Hitchhiker,” features a female figure with her thumb extended while holding a suitcase in her other hand, perhaps expressing all of the baggage one carries through life. There is also a sense of personal freedom and female empowerment associated with this piece.
All images and text © Jeremiah Gilbert
By Jeremiah Gilbert
Jeremiah’s Previous Contributions To Edge Of Humanity Magazine
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