I had the privilege of contributing artwork for a good cause in California. Big Rick Stuart and Sal Castaneda, Bay Area media guys, put together a charity project to benefit Children's Hospital in Oakland. They partnered with Judd's Hill Winery in Napa. Rick found my MacArthur Maze paintings and saw the possibilities for their SigAlert wine labels. In California, "SigAlert" means "Trouble on the Freeway!"
The Benioff Children's Hospital is located near the MacArthur Maze, a massive freeway interchange that blooms off the eastern end of the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge. It is said to be the largest freeway interchange in the world. (The map I used for the paintings shows only a portion of the whole.)
Liking the curves and intertwined roadways, I made several paintings of the same spot. That was lucky because in the end Rick wanted four versions, to make up a collectors' pack. It so happens that one of them is hanging in a show in Selma this month:
And I found a MM painting I had forgotten all about:
Some history of California-style freeway troubles: In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake caused a double-decked section of the Maze to collapse. The three miles of replacement freeway cost $1.2 billion. In 2007, a speeding tanker truck carrying gasoline hit a guardrail and overturned on a Maze connector. The driver walked away with minor injuries. The intense heat from the subsequent fuel spill and fire weakened the steel structure of the roadway above, collapsing it onto the lower connector, which sank nine inches. A state projection concluded that the connector collapse cost $90 million. The trucking company lost its license to transport gasoline.
I wanted to make studies of jungle growth - using acrylics, muslin strips and some very old cotton fabric I bought at a yard sale in Richmond in 1971. It was antique material even then, probably from chicken feed sacks, and had been cut into hundreds of circles planned for a quilt, I think. But that quilt was never made. I bought the circles for a quarter, and saved them until I had "time".