Kenwood Press


Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

email print
News: 08/15/2016

A monster emerges from the wilds of Glen Ellen

Local artist creates new work for this year’s Burning Man festival


Glen Ellen artist Bryan Tedrick stands below his newest creation, Lord Snort, which weighs in at 20,000 pounds and stands 20 feet tall. Lord Snort will be shipped in pieces and reassembled in the Nevada desert for this year’s Burning Man festival, where Tedrick is a frequent featured artist. Photo by Sarah C. Phelps.


Lord Snort, the latest creation of Glen Ellen artist Bryan Tedrick, will make its public debut later this month at the Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. Burning Man, a weeklong celebration and experiment in community and art, has become the perfect venue for Tedrick’s larger-than-life works, which are often inspired by nature, animals and the organic world. This year’s celebration, running Aug. 28-Sept. 5, will mark Tedrick’s tenth year sending his art installations to the Nevada playa.

At 20,000 pounds, more than 20 feet tall and 30 feet long, Lord Snort comes apart in three pieces and will be shipped via flatbed to the desert before being reassembled. Like much of Tedrick’s art, Lord Snort is made from scrap and recycled steel, giving him his heft and also his rusty tarnish. Also like most of Tedrick’s pieces, Lord Snort is interactive and kinetic; it rotates with a push, and his head nods if tugged or climbed on. In keeping with the free-spirit of Burning Man, Tedrick anticipates that a lot of people on the playa will be using Lord Snort as a jungle gym – and that’s part of the art. “The people are the chaos element. They make it come alive,” said Tedrick.

Tedrick, 60, is tall and lanky, which adds a sort of scale to his work. “I always make my pieces at least a little taller than me,” he said – which could also be an understatement. Tedrick works almost exclusively with found materials, metal and wood, and has been sending art to Burning Man since 2006. Tedrick’s 26-foot-tall Coyote became a defining image of the 2013 Burning Man festival when it was featured in the book “Burning Man: Art on Fire.” His carpeted and climbable Portal of Evolution was featured in the New York Times and his Damselfly, which spun and had a seat between two large dragonfly wings, was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle.

After its stint in the desert, Tedrick’s art often finds its way back to Sonoma County. Sirbent, an oversized, ominous, grinning fish, can be seen off Sonoma Highway near the entrance to Kenwood Inn and Spa, and Tedrick’s 32-foot-wide Spread Eagle wings once lived near the Kenwood Restaurant, but have since made their way, courtesy of owner Erik Garcia, next to the Wine Country Garden Center on Broadway in Sonoma. Tedrick’s iconic Coyote was purchased by Ken Wilson for Wilson Winery in Healdsburg. Wilson has also expressed interest in Lord Snort, possibly for his Kenwood winery, St. Anne’s Crossing – which would definitely turn a few heads along Highway 12. Besides sculptures, Tedrick’s portfolio includes public art commissions, gates and railings. The flowing bike racks in Sonoma Plaza are Tedrick’s work, as is the flying pig above Cochon Volant Smokehouse in Boyes Hot Springs. “Steel is a good medium for me. I’m not particularly patient and I like to work big,” said Tedrick. This is another reason you’ll only find Tedrick’s work outside in the elements and not cloistered in any art galleries.

Tedrick and his wife Terry Roberts, a retired teacher, have lived in Glen Ellen for more than two decades. Tedrick grew up in the East Bay and received a B.F.A. in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute in the early 80s. Before attending school, he worked as a carpenter. A job at the Kaiser Shipyard provided experience in welding and handling big weights, which has shaped his work in balance and kinetic sculpture.

Upon settling in Sonoma, Tedrick and Roberts lived at a place called The Art Farm at Leveroni Road and Broadway for a time. They later moved to London Ranch Road, where they still live. Tedrick has been at his current workshop on Nuns Canyon Road for 20 years.

Tedrick begins brainstorming his Burning Man pieces well in advance, as proposals are due to the Black Rock Arts Foundation by February. Grant amounts vary, but Tedrick has been the recipient of one each year since 2008. If a Burning Man piece is sold, Burning Man collects 10 percent of the sale price, not to exceed the original grant amount. Tedrick started working on Lord Snort in March and it has since cost $30,000 in materials and has taken Tedrick about 1,000 hours of labor to complete.


Sarah Phelps is an editor and reporter. She was raised in Kenwood and has a BA from Loyola Marymount University.
Email: sarah@kenwoodpress.com

Recently Published:

11/15/2019 - Missing man found dead at Hood Mountain park
11/15/2019 - Kenwood Depot celebrates 40 years as Historic Landmark
11/15/2019 - Volunteers restore historic orchard
11/15/2019 - FEMA grants Santa Rosa $3.4M to protect critical infrastructure
11/15/2019 - Sonoma Raceway Food Drive
11/15/2019 - PG&E agrees to extend fire claim deadline
11/15/2019 - County fire funding to hit the March 2020 ballot
11/15/2019 - Fire district consolidation pondered
11/15/2019 - Special delivery to Kenwood School
11/15/2019 - Oakmont honors its veterans
11/15/2019 - SVCAC meeting on traffic study
11/15/2019 - Free Thanksgiving dinners
11/01/2019 - The bears are back
11/01/2019 - KCC Annual Holiday Potluck set for Dec. 4
11/01/2019 - Urban planners chosen to create SDC Specific Plan
11/01/2019 - Country road clean-up in Glen Ellen
11/01/2019 - Farmer fire relief
11/01/2019 - Bouverie Preserve selects design firm to move forward with fire rebuild
11/01/2019 - Third-party administrator urges people to apply to Wildfire Assistance Program
11/01/2019 - Vehicle regulations threaten free bookmobile outreach program
11/01/2019 - Seedlings for the future...
11/01/2019 - It’s time to pay attention to groundwater
11/01/2019 - Major fire district reorganization gets going
11/01/2019 - Tree crashes into Kenwood house
11/01/2019 - Impacts of power shutoffs widespread and expensive

Community Calendar

Free food available for those in need
11/19/2019
more...
Rotary Club of Glen Ellen-Kenwood meeting
11/20/2019
more...
Loss and resilience walk
11/21/2019
more...
Jackie Speier at Sonoma Speaker Series
11/22/2019
more...
Shoot for the stars at Ferguson Observatory
11/23/2019
more...
Hike for Fitness
11/23/2019
more...
Commemorate Jack’s death
11/23/2019
more...
Emmaus Inclusive Community service and potluck supper
11/24/2019
more...
Thanksgiving Break Day Camp
11/26/2019
more...
Churches co-host Thanksgiving service
11/27/2019
more...
Exploring genealogy at SIR #53
11/27/2019
more...


Weather Underground PWS KCAKENWO2