California Agriculture Museum Art Installation Reception Sept. 11

Bud Gordon Art series The California Ag Museum welcomes California urban landscape artist and UC Davis alum , Bud Gordon, to their rotating art exhibit. Following the Friday beer and wine reception, the 12-painting series will hang on display until October 31, 2015

Woodland, Ca  September 1, 2015 — The California Agriculture Museum welcomed their latest painting series this week, California Today, by Bud Gordon, as part of their rotating art exhibit. The public is invited to an installation reception on Friday, September 11, from 5:30-7pm. The event is $10 and includes a complimentary glass of beer or wine.

The 12 painting series, ranging from 14 inches by 18 inches to 36 inches by 48 inches, takes visitors on a tour through California’s urban landscapes, merging with agriculture fields. Museum goers can enjoy the series through the end of October 2015, and a portion of the art sale proceeds will benefit the non-profit.

“Imagine touring some of California’s richest agricultural land by way of the Sacramento Corridor to San Jose by train,” explained Gordon, “The paintings are labeled so you understand your physical progression along the exhibit route.

As a Sacramento resident for decades, and University of Davis graduate, Gordon says the work documents his visual experience as a painter in California today. As a self-proclaimed “Urban Realist,” Gordon is interested in an attempt to reveal that which, in the middle of banal every day, remains extraordinary, rare, unique, and personal. Cal Ag Museum Artist Bud Gordon and wife

“When visiting the Bay Area, I will usually take the train,  it is such a pleasant way to travel because I am able to draw and photograph the urban landscape along the way,” he continued, “This current work, created in 2014, are the views I’ve seen between Sacramento and San Jose on the Capitol Corridor train.”

Gordon studied with renowned artists Wayne Thiebaud and Manuel Neri at the University of California Davis, and he refers to himself as an urban artist whose paintings explore how art can engage the viewer by documenting the environment, people, places and things.

When describing his art, Gordon says at distance his work looks realistic while close up it dissolves into abstraction. He explained that his love of the medium inspires him to work the surface and build in textures, and that by using sketching and photography to capture the essence of the terrain,  he can return to in the studio to transform those glimpses into complex landscapes brimming with surface tension.

“Bud’s art has been hung at the Shimo Center for the Arts in Sacramento, as well as, The Gold Leaf Gallery in Monterey; it is a pleasure to welcome his collection into the museum,” says Executive Director Lorili Ostman, “this rotating art exhibit continues to support our museum mission to educate and preserve the culture of agriculture in our community.”

For more information about the event, or to pre-purchase tickets, visit http://www.CaliforniaAgMuseum.org or call 530-666-9700. The California Agriculture Museum, formerly the Heidrick Ag History Center, is located at 1962 Hays Lane, Woodland, CA.

A Tractor that Walks?

The Fageol 9-12 “Walking” Tractor, 3500lbs, 1919. Heidrick Ag History Center.

Our collection here at the Heidrick Ag History Center includes this little tractor.  Nestled in a line of other comparably sized tractors, you might first notice its because of its brown color.  But what really makes this tractor distinctive are its back wheels.  These back wheels are oddly shaped with grousers that look like spikes, and differ from the wheels of any other tractor that we have in our collection.

Notice the spiked or wedged legs on the Fageol Walking Tractor. These kept the wheel rims from touching the ground, and made the tractor seem like it was "walking" on it. Heidrick Ag History Center Archives.

When farmers began working the fields in California, they quickly realized that the tractors they had been using on the East coast and in the mid-West were not suited for the soft California soil.  The rims of the wheels of many of these tractors sunk into the ground, and were difficult to get out once stuck.  First manufactured by the Fageol Motor Company in 1917, the Fageol 9-12 was an early attempt at trying to prevent tractors from sinking into the soft California soil.  The spiked grousers, or legs, prevented the tractor from sinking into the soil, and in fact made it seem like the tractor almost floated above the soil.  The wedged grousers ensured that the wheel rims never even touched the ground.  The way that the tractor moved above the ground made some people think that the tractor was actually “walking” on the soil, thus earning the Fageol 9-12 the nickname as the “walking tractor.”

Fageol Walking Tractor in use at a home orchard. No date. Heidrick Ag History Center Archives.

The Fageol 9-12 “Walking” Tractor design was unique not only because of its “walking” wheels, but it was also small enough to navigate small orchards and vineyards.  Advertisements for the tractor celebrated its “Tom Thumb” size, and marveled that at 3500 pounds it weighed only as much as a few horses.  The wheel design and size worked well on California’s orchards and vineyards, but its price tag of $1575 was too expensive for small farmers for the tractor to really catch on.  Even though the “walking” tractor design was discontinued by 1938, this unusual tractor is a great piece of California’s agricultural history!

Come learn more and see a Fageol 9-12 Walking Tractor in person at the Heidrick Ag History Center!