Local artist…Frank Rock Creates Grizzly Homage to Cyclists
A full-sized grizzly bear statue embellished by artist Frank Rock with some of the landmarks visited by cyclists on the annual Tour of California has been installed on Valencia Boulevard near Bouquet Junction.
Created in 2007 for the City of Santa Clarita’s first partnership with the Amgen Tour of California, Rock researched the tour’s routes and selected sites such as San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, scenic Highway 101, beaches at sunset and of course, Magic Mountain’s Skytower and world-famous roller coasters for his painting. Two cyclists focused on their route and one with arms raised at the completion of one of the race stages are also featured, as well as part of the California state flag near the bear’s head.
“It was an honor to celebrate the athletes dedicated to this competition artistically,” Rock said. “I hope people who see the bear will remember their achievements and how our community turned out to salute them as they rode through Santa Clarita.
“It also means a lot to me that the bear is on the Chuck Pontius Commuter Trail, as he was a friend of our family.” Pontius ran track at Canyon High School, where Rock is the pole vault coach. The 28-year old city employee died in 1993.
This is the second bear that Rock has created that is on display; the first is the Santa Clarita History Bear, painted in 2006 and installed in front of the Old Town Newhall Library which features many local landmarks such as Beale’s Cut, William S. Hart and his mansion, the Saugus Train Station and the St. Francis Dam. Both bears spent some time “on the road” making appearances at art festivals and the Amgen Tour before finding their permanent homes.
Rock has been a visual artist for the last four decades with several of his works on display throughout the City. Visit him @frankrockartist on Facebook or follow him @frankrockart on Instagram.
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