Talos Guards Again

Each generation seems to produce a few artists whose work is involved with an exploration of the response of man to his environment. Tacoma artist James Hansen is one of those talented sculptors; His abstract work in metal reflects influences of Chinese bronzes and totemic Indian sculpture. Approaching the problem of this mythological response, Hansen develops a sculpture that indicates direction like a crossroads signpost.

As a student Hansen was aware of new beliefs whose philosophy and imagery were to influence his later works. Working in his own foundry increased his awareness of the materials as he became involved in the medium of bronze. Talos was one of Hansen’s most important early works, and part of his “Guardian” series. Taking its name from ancient Greek mythology, Talos was a large bronze man given to King Minos of Crete by Zeus to serve as a watchman over the Agean island.

For many years, Talos stood at the western entry to a part of the Fulton Mall. The statue was removed after being damaged over 10 yrs ago and some worried, lost. A few years ago Joe Moore, a tireless voice to saving the Mall, learned that Hansen had never been contacted by the city about fixing the sculpture. Joe worked to broker a deal to have the artist make the repairs yet the city never completed the arrangement.

Recently, the Fresno Arts Council in partnership with the City of Fresno and PBID, collaborated to fix and restore the sculpture on the Fulton Mall this winter. Local artist Lester Harries, a metal sculptor from Sanger, retouched Talos, which just this week has returned to its place of guardianship on the Mall. Why not be one of the first to enjoy Talos in its place, guarding the entry to the Mall? Our next Urban Taste tour this Saturday morning will visit Talos and many other world-class works while we taste our way through the area. Tickets at $49 and include all of the food. How about a 50% discount? Book in advance on Brown Paper Tickets!


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