Former Brookings resident Manuel Lopez will be honored with a special art piece this Saturday.

The artwork, a sculptured piece of redwood driftwood, is a creation that Lopez began several years ago but never completed, according to his wife, Judy May-Lopez.

“In his driftwood sculptures, Manuel’s artwork uncovered the graceful movement of the sea creatures he saw when he was a commercial fisherman, but he also left the natural ‘driftwood’ feel in his creations,” May-Lopez said.

When Manuel Lopez passed away nine years ago, the nearly-completed redwood sculpture sat unfinished in storage.

May-Lopez talked with Mark Gautreaux, owner of Forecastle Books, about the unfinished sculpture and Gautreaux contacted local artist Jean-Luc Thornton, who agreed to finish the artwork.

Luc said he faced challenges in finishing the sculpture. “The first challenge was how to do as little as possible to the sculpture so as not to change what was intended by the artist,” Luc said.

“The second was to determine what type of finish to use on the redwood wall hanging, that would both preserve the wood and provide a consistent look with Manuel’s other wall hangings.”

Luc said he closely worked with May-Lopez, who gave him the insight to complete the piece.

The finished artwork will be unveiled at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Great American Smokehouse, 1566 U.S. Highway 101 in Brookings.





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