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Weird backward arrow tears of Val Polyanin.
Weird backward arrow tears of Val Polyanin.

Disturbing Sculptures Art Gallery (Gone)

Field review by the editors.

Crescent City, California

Three sculptors maintain separate, side-by-side studios along coastal US Hwy 101. The exhibited pieces catch the attention of passersby; even driving at high speed, it's hard to miss a bunch of spindly creatures and naked humanoids pushing around severed heads.

It's worth pulling off to explore and chat with the artists if they're available. And maybe you'll find something that would fit right in your yard or home.

The artists have wildly different styles and materials: Ray Marshall is the redwood carver; then there's Driftwood Willie, whose sign promises "Everything I make is one of a kind. There are no copies or ever will be;" and Val Polyanin creates nightmarish figures and scenes in resin.

Alien welcome by Ray Marshall.
Alien welcome by Ray Marshall.

Willie was hunkered over a driftwood creation in progress, so we decided not to bother him.

We chatted with Ray, the friendly proprietor of Marshall Arts, about his wood sculpture, custom carving, and the best escape route to high ground if a tidal wave siren sounds. He was happy to enlighten us.

Ray also told us Val escaped from the Ukraine during the Cold War, and somewhere along the way was abducted by space aliens. This has heavily influenced his work. There are tormented naked figures mixed in with abstract stacks of shapes, some brightly colored and some muddy and organic. Val's studio is in a repurposed shipping container.

Driftwood Willie and his flotsam creations.
Driftwood Willie and his flotsam creations.

Ray himself has a wood-carved extraterrestrial welcoming his studio visitors. His art tends to be humorous, with some of the area favorites of bears and forest wildlife and characters. A little something for everyone here.

Disturbing Sculptures Art Gallery

1 mi. south of Crescent City on east side of US 101.
The lot was bulldozed clean in 2021. (Call to verify)

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