Many artists dream of having their work in a position of prominence where it can be seen by decision makers. And that is exactly what happened with Manzanita resident Mike Cook’s piece “Earth Rescue,” which now resides in the Oregon governor’s office.
Since becoming a sculptor post-retirement, Cook combined his creative passion, concern with climate change and his drive to advocate for Oregon’s Clean Energy Jobs Bill and the state’s participation in meeting the Paris Agreement. He wanted to see where creating for a cause might lead and if it could help in some way.
Cook’s artist statement for “Earth Rescue” states that the work is a gesture of caring for the wound, softening the impacts and what can occur with an agreed, political, environmental, economic and scientific framework.
At first, state Rep. Deborah Boone welcomed the possibility of having the piece in her office, but as the 2018 session approached, along with a solid chance for the passage of the Clean Energy bill, Boone suggested perhaps the piece could be placed in the governor’s office. And that is exactly what happened.
As Cook continues to write notes to legislators, he can leverage the placement of his sculpture, referring to the piece and what it represents. “I can refer to the piece by name, where it is and suggest they go take a look at it,” he smiled.