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Paul Rideout's Pyramids - A Practiced Hand and an Open Heart

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Paul Rideout, also known as Palul, sees art as the product of linking an idea with technique. To illustrate this thought, Paul likes to use his favorite quote by Leonardo di Vinci, “Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.” This quote also expresses another element of Paul’s work – the spiritual element. Paul sees his ideas as coming from a higher source and the finished product is the synthesis of a practiced hand and an open heart.

The expression of this synthesis can be seen in the Pyramids he created that now sit in The McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at Turtle Bay Exploration Park. When Paul applied for a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation to create artwork reflecting local culture, he sought to find a universal form to shape his art. He chose the pyramid shape because it is understood by and has significance in all cultures and throughout time. The pyramids are full of symbols of local culture and the sanctity of nature. Local icons like Mt. Shasta, the Sundial Bridge, the Sacramento River and our region’s great oak trees can be found easily on the pyramids. Other things like the shape of faces and Chinese characters are hidden among the more obvious shapes, colors and textures.

Not only is Paul an incredible artist, but he is a teacher and scientist as well. Beverly, one of his students, remarked that Paul is a “one of a kind teacher who fosters a creative environment to work in” and that he is “a total inspiration.” Beverly started taking classes from Paul three years ago and now she sells her own pottery. “We are all like a family in Paul’s classes. He teaches you the how and the why about ceramics and then lets you go off and do it!” For this reason Paul is a favorite among his students and revered in the local artist community as well.

The Community Foundation was proud to partner with such a respected artist in the production of artwork that will grace our area for years to come. It is a privilege to see a work of art grow from conception to completion. We anticipate that these Pyramids will inspire new artists to create works that speak as expressively as these do.

Paul Rideout received a $5,000 grant from the Community Building Arts Initiative of the Cultural Trust at the Community Foundation to support the production of these pyramids.

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