Representatives from the City of Mill Valley, Mill Valley Recreation, Mill Valley Chamber, Outdoor Art Club and Mill Valley Arts Commission gathered in Old Mill Park last month to celebrate and dedicate Big Wave Bench, the creation of longtime Bolinas artist and arborist-turned sculptor Chuck Oakander, who has a passion for making functional, fun benches and sculptures from tree trunks.
The arrival of Big Wave Bench earlier this year came courtesy of a successful grant proposal from the Mill Valley Chamber's Enjoy Mill Valley Fund to the Outdoor Art Club. Oakander's bench is located just opposite the Old Mill and close to Cascade Drive. At the event, Mayor Jim Wickham unveiled a new plaque dedicated to the Outdoor Art Club for funding the bench.
Oakander's Big Wave Bench is one of several benches that were installed to beautify the city this year. Others include acclaimed Bay Area artist Colin Selig's beautiful Asymmetric Art Bench at the corner of Miller and Evergreen Avenues (supported by Mill Valley Refuse principal Jim Iavarone, the Chamber and Whole Foods), and another gorgeous redwood bench installed just outside City Hall made by former longtime city parks supervisor Rick Misuraca (supported by the Bullard family and other local residents).
The Chamber established the Enjoy Mill Valley Fund in July 2016 with the cooperation of the Marin Community Foundation to work with local and county agencies and organizations to identify deserving, "shovel ready" local beautification and infrastructure projects that just need a little funding boost to get to the finish line.
Source: Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce.