The Making of Middle Fork

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Middle Fork - John Grade Studio from John Grade on Vimeo.

‘Making a plaster cast of a 140 foot tree certainly wasn’t a practical decision, but in this case it was very rewarding’, said sculptor John Grade at the outset of the enormous sculptural project that was commenced in 2015.

Successive renderings of an entire tree in small sections of western red cedar has accomplished with the participation of over 2000 volunteers in what has become a huge community project.

To date Middle Fork has been exhibited at the the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington DC and from January 2017 in the central Congress building in Davos, Switzerland from January 17–20. On February 10 the sculpture opened for viewing in the Seattle Art Museum’s Brotman Forum.

John Grade’s vision is that at the end of the project the sculpture will be returned to the forest and laid at the base of the giant hemlock tree which inspired it and allowed to disintegrate back into the earth.

Learn more about John Grade at

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