Monday, November 21, 2011

Giant Cat Sculpture Installed in Calistoga

On October 6, 2011, a 14 foot high steel sculpture by Sean McGinn Smith (1959-2010) was installed at Vineyard 511 on Diamond Mountain in Calistoga.

Sean was a painter and metalworker who worked at the Linden Street Warehouse in the studio of his mother, Kalani Engles. Raised in Woodside, California, Sean studied archeology at the University of Arizona and graduated from the Art Institute of San Francisco. Many of his works embody the form and image of cats, inspired by his beloved Abyssinian, Simba.

One of his largest “Simba’s”, a 14 foot high steel sculpture, was purchased from his estate by Ed and Irene Ojdana, the owners of Vineyard 511. Below are photos of the sculpture being installed with the assistance of Sean’s brother, Tim Smith.


Because the sculpture had been long exposed to elements, the original painted finish was showing signs of wear. The buyers decided to have it sandblasted, zinc coated and powder coated in its original colors to enable it to stand up to the elements indefinitely. They selected Precision Powder Coating in Belmont for the job and commissioned Linden Street Warehouse artist Laura Diamondstone, to restore the silver highlights on the decorative icons which cover the cat’s tail, body and double pedestal.

The photos below show Alan Willms, proprietor of Precision Powder Coating, and Laura Diamondstone standing in front of sections of the sculpture prior to shipment. A photo of Sean’s brother, Tom, and sister, Laura, on horses beside the sculpture (prior to refinishing) demonstrate the scale of this work.