As the road curves past Sunset Beach, vivid, recycled sculptures intermingle with the countryside. Heads swivel back to catch a glimpse of colorful totems. In Forestville, Davingy’s sculpture park adds an intriguing dimension to the lush scenery dappled with vineyards, apple orchards and riverside redwoods.
The collection of repurposed work is the vision of artist Dave McGraw. When he purchased the property, he came across pieces of farming equipment that he incorporated into his sculptures. Rusted drag grates, transmissions, cider presses, early model car frames, and wood chippers weave stories of labor, agriculture, and engineering. Within his sustainable practice, McGraw frequently rummages through salvage yards for materials and inspiration.
Lantern-like “pods” and organic “boulders” use fiberglass, modern resins, and foam products in a stunning array of bright colors. Pieces are sent to a shop in San Francisco to be powder-coated so that the coatings can withstand the elements.
Over two dozen Davingy originals have been installed roadside in the past five years by McGraw and his crew. Yet, there are more than 100 planted across the 132-acre ranch. They are suspended from trees, rooted into the ground, and tower up to the sky. He was incredibly excited to build a park at this location where the work can be enjoyed by others. Many pieces are among an apple orchard and wrap around the old farmhouse. Most pieces have names, but there is no single theme that unites them.
As McGraw puts it, they just exist. He told the Press-Democrat, “the pieces are musical, they evoke nature, they represent living forms, and they bring together architecture and engineering.” There’s no big statement behind the work—”I like creating it and seeing what happens.”
Know Before You Go
Most pieces are visible from River Road from a car or bike or foot. Tours are available by appointment only. Villano claims, “No matter how many times you pass by, you’ll notice something new every time. And that’s exactly the point.”
Make sure to grab a bite and brew across the street at the Russian River Pub. Or better yet, take a dip at Sunset Beach.