On February 5, 2014, local arts supporter Cathy Sarnat and her family graciously hosted a reception for artist Sarah Gilbert and the Greater Metro Parks Foundation in the historic Vaeth House. Tacoma art, history, and park supporters came together to meet Sarah, explore the enchanting Victorian mansion, and learn a little more about Sarah, the history of Tacoma’s parks, and the Greater Metro Parks Foundation.
Sarah, a local sculpture and fabricator, and the head technician at the Museum of Glass, is also passionate about Tacoma’s parks. In the creation of her newest series of artwork, Sarah looked to the history of Metro Parks as inspiration, creating “Thank you, Ebenezer” a captivating cameo portrait of Ebenezer Rhys Roberts, the first superintendent of Tacoma’s parks. The sculpture is a portrait framed by a shovel-shaped armature, representing the inception, groundbreaking, and flourishing of Tacoma’s parks system. Ebenezer Rhys Roberts is portrayed on the blade of a shovel, kind eyes beaming over a flamboyant, blossoming moustache made of leaves and flowers.
At the event, Parks Superintendent Marina Becker shared some historical information about Ebenezer Rhys Roberts, a creative, eccentric, and brilliant master gardener whose love for horticulture, nature, and the Pacific Northwest has endured in the work of Metro Parks Tacoma, more than 100 years later.
Sarah donated this beautiful work of art to the Greater Metro Parks Foundation and the piece is currently available for purchase through the Foundation’s Because Parks Matter Online Auction. The auction closes on February 26th so make sure to check it out and get your bids in. The winner of the piece will be announced at the upcoming “Because Parks Matter” luncheon at the STAR Center.
Sarah Gilbert’s exhibition opens this August at the University of Puget Sound’s Kittredge Gallery.