A brand-new art installation is coming to Redding’s Sacramento River Trail. It will memorialize the life of a local woman who walked the trail regularly.
Last year, George Emmerson and his family made a landmark gift in memory of Susan Emmerson. The $1 million gift will fund the creation of public artwork, serving as a unique landmark adjacent to the Stress Ribbon Bridge on the Sacramento River Trail. The gift will also provide improvements to the Stress Ribbon Bridge approaches, as well as long-term maintenance of the artwork and the surrounding area.
The City of Redding solicited a proposal for the artwork. Over 200 submissions were received from artists all over the country, in addition to a few international proposals. A selection committee reviewed the proposals and invited three finalists to present their concepts in person.
RE:site Studio of Houston, Texas, was selected for the art commission. The proposal includes a very elegant, yet sturdy stone sculpture to be placed near the Stress Ribbon Bridge at the north end of the Sacramento River Trail. Additionally, the commission will include an artistic treatment to the railing of the bridge. The art piece will provide seating from which to enjoy the river flow and sunsets. Without a doubt, this art installation will become a popular location for milestone photographs and selfies. Installation of the piece is planned for Spring 2022.
Norman Lee of RE:site Studio remarked, “As artists, we are passionate about telling stories of communities through placemaking. We were very moved and inspired by the strong connectedness that Susan Emmerson had to her family, friends, community, and students, leaving an indelible mark on everyone’s life that she touched. It has been an honor to be the team selected to create an iconic work of art dedicated to the memory of Susan, poetically interweaving her love of art and the natural beauty of the Sacramento River Trail.”
City Manager Barry Tippin, reflecting on the magnitude of the gift, said “We couldn’t be more grateful for the Emmerson Family’s generosity and enduring commitment to the community.”
Mrs. Emmerson walked the River Trail regularly with her husband and friends. She loved nature and art. For many years, she shared her artistic talents with the young students she taught at local schools – inspiring them to explore and create. She generously volunteered her time and skills to many organizations over the years, including the Community Foundation of the North State, where she was a founding board member. Susan is deeply missed by her husband, George, their four sons, their daughters-in-law and their three grandchildren, but this gift, made through the Susan Emmerson Fund at The Community Foundation of the North State, will be a testament to the spirit of generosity Susan carried with her each day.