Flower girl: Sculptures add appeal to area businesses | TheUnion.com

Flower girl: Sculptures add appeal to area businesses

Nevada City artist Sally Peterson stands among her flowers on display at A to Z Supply on Ridge Road in Grass Valley.
Brett Bentley/bbentley@theunion.com |

It’s hard not to notice the large metal flowers that have sprouted up in front of area businesses and venues this past year. The attractive works of garden art can be seen in front of the Artist Studio in the Foothills on Idaho-Maryland Road, at BriarPatch Co-op, as part of a landscaped garden for A to Z Garden Supply, next to Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Prospectors Nursery, Grass Valley Florist and Haalo.

By working with the local businesses to incorporate the large-scale sculptures into existing landscapes, Nevada City artist Sally Peterson has found an innovative way to exhibit her works — all of which are for sale — while improving the “curb” appeal of the businesses as well.

The flowers are made from reclaimed items found at junk yards and garage sales. The stems are fashioned out of pipes formerly used as commercial sprinkler systems. The circular centers are various items, including tire rims and the bases of old patio chairs. Peterson discovered her artistic talents while working on her teaching credential. She took an art class on the side, just for fun, she said.

“We would go to junk yards in Reno and start making stuff,” Peterson said.

She began working with metal for many reasons, including its durability.

“I love the colors it takes on — the rusty and the shiny,” she added.

Peterson’s experience with reclaimed items goes beyond her art right in to the heart of her home. She and her husband built their house out of all-used items. She said with a laugh that she found the windows first and built the house around them. Their unique home was even featured on an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show three or four years ago as part of a design contest with Nate Berkus, Peterson said.

Peterson’s flowers will remain at their current locations for a while longer, but she does plan to move them back to The Funkyard at Big Star Ranch (her home based-studio) eventually — unless, of course, they sell first.

Learn more about Peterson and Big Star Ranch, at http://bigstarranch.com

To contact Features Editor Brett Bentley, email bbentley@theunion.com

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