The Emeryville Mudflat Sculptures were an anonymous folk art installation off the side of Interstate 80

Originally published at: The Emeryville Mudflat Sculptures were an anonymous folk art installation off the side of Interstate 80 | Boing Boing


most of the people who fabricated the sculptures would have not called themselves “artists” at all.

PSA: art doesn’t have to be “good” or profitable. If you make art, you are an artist.


I loved driving down that bit of freeway and seeing what was still there, what was new, what was changed.


I have a good photo book about the sculptures, called “Driftwood Whimsey” by Douglas Keister. The lunar lander was the best. Now we just have… the Bulb.

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I was a big fan Snoopy’s Sopwith Camel and a Fokker Dr I that were there from time to time.

There is still something out in the water (a plane? a ship?) wasn’t really looking last time I drove by… And the Snoopy/Red Baron one was also a favorite!

There used to be an ‘adventure playground’ nearby where kids were given a bunch of scrap and some hammers and nails and allowed to build without much in the way of supervision. Took my kids there but made sure they were using tools properly/safely (yeah, I’m a buzzkill like that). All pre-COVID…

Drive a bit further south and take the time to visit Children’s Fairyland in Oakland: priceless. Some drone operator flew an FPV around there (a prototype for cinema work iirc? was on BB) and it brought tears to my eyes how much fun we had there as a young family.

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We spent a ton of time at Adventure Playground when the kids were little. One of the best parks in all of the Bay Area.

(And yea, there’s still this sculpture out there)

From the mid 70s until the mid 80s my parents had a small sailboat. We lived in San Jose, but rented a slip on the water in Richmond. Almost every weekend we drove up 80 and passed the mudflats along the way. Dad never stopped, but just seeing these things is a fond childhood memory. If my sister and I weren’t paying attention, Mom would always announce they were coming up.
On a side note: The boat was actually owned by my Dad and a friend of his. Once my parents had Dads friend take me exploring at the abandoned brick factory next to where the boat was (the marina was called Brick Yard Cove) for a couple of hours. It wasn’t until we got back to the boat that I started pestering my parents what they were doing while Larry and I were gone. My Mom turned red and Dad yelled, “Mind your own business, or you can go live at the brick factory!” I still find this funny and like to bring it up 40 years later!


Making little baby bricks?

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