Relocated (incl. Museums)
1100 U.S. 101, Crescent City, California, 95531, United States
Polyanin left his site and gifted his entire collection (some 800 pieces) to the City of Crescent City in 2022. Portions of the collection are on display in downtown Crescent City throughout 2023. The longterm future of the collection is unknown at this time.
About the Artist/Site
Val Polyanin emigrated from the Ukraine and now lives in northern Humboldt County, California, land of monumental redwood trees and foggy coastlines. For a time he was licensed to practice as a security guard, but the license has elapsed.
He displays a selection of his sculpture in front and inside of a roadside art gallery that appears to have been a railroad freight car, just south of the town of Crescent City; his primary target audience is the drive-by tourist. Polyanin’s works are created from a variety of media and many are painted with strong and sometimes discordant colors. And unlike many of the roadside art/sculpture stands that dot this northern stretch of Highway 101 – chainsaw-carved bears, mushrooms, and cutesy plaques – much of this artist’s imagery is disturbing: the Grim Reaper, shocked and crying figures, decapitated heads, and the like appear prominently among his oeuvre. Sizes range from table-top to larger than human scale. There are also vertical abstractions, however, that appear to be more about form than narrative, and expressionist paintings – both figurative and abstract – are displayed within the gallery.
The exterior works are viewable 24/7; when the artist is around and the art gallery is open, the interior pieces are viewable as well.
~Jo Farb Hernández
Update, 2022: Polyanin abandoned his site in early 2022, and left a note stating he would like to donate his artwork to Crescent City. Several city employees who knew Polyanin personally rallied together to encourage the city to make the acquisition. At a special meeting in July 2022, the city decided to accept the artwork. The future of the work in terms of public display is unknown at this time.
Update, 2023: Portions of the Val Polyanin collection stewarded by the City of Crescent City are on display downtown through October 2023. For more information, visit www.vpart.org.
Map & Site Information
1100 U.S. 101
Crescent City, California, 95531 us
Latitude/Longitude: 41.747428 / -124.170875