In honor of Lou Harrison’s centennial year, Harrison House will soon have a new grand entryway, crafted from a re-purposed portion of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The Art Gate will be designed and built by Bay Area artist Mark Bulwinkle, was a close associate of Lou Harrison and former artist in residence at the Harrison House.
The Bay Bridge Steel Program—for Creative Reuse in Civic and Public Art Projects— is being administered by Oakland Museum of California (OMCA). The program’s intent is to preserve elements of the original 1936 East Span of the Bay Bridge, as well as its legacy as a major landmark and historic icon, by making salvaged steel available for incorporation into public and civic art projects throughout the State of California.
In 1936, Lou Harrison was on the scene in San Francisco composing avant-garde music with his friend John Cage. They were among the WPA generation that contributed greatly to the modern-art era of the 20th century. The Bay Bridge Gate Project at the Harrison House will be a profound example of art that bridges time, distance, lineage and history while adding weight and meaning to the Joshua Tree site that celebrates an important lineage of Bay Area artists. The gate will be installed in time to launch the year of celebrations commemorating the 100th anniversary of Lou’s birth.