Peter Helzer’s Alligator and Otter is at Arbor Lodge Park in North Portland. It’s a small bronze statue of two animal characters fresh from a summer swim, reminiscent of Walt Kelly’s Pogo, comfortable, at kid level to encourage contact. Kids must like it.

(Some irony that the adjoining fountain has not been turned on in the past decade. Kids now ponder the structure & try to calculate what it is at all. A fountain? Really? Turn it on and it’s a fountain. Until then, it’s a strange concrete disk.)

The RACC plaque holds a brief artist’s statement from Helzer, “This sculpture is for all who enjoy the simple pleasures of a beautiful Oregon day. May it serve to remind us of good friends, good times, and good memories.”

Helzer, an Oregon sculptor, also remembered Oregon’s greatest writer, Ken Kesey, in bronze.

His impact on literature, on pop culture, on our national capacity to question authorities is inestimable. Yes his output was uneven, yes he coasted for a generation, yes he misbehaved, yes he started something he couldn’t contain. So what.

Here’s the press release announcing the unveiling of The Storyteller.

Here are pictures and a description of the unveiling of The Storyteller.

In 1990 Helzer memorialized Jed Kesey in a bronze relief map of Eugene and environs. Jed Kesey and a wrestling teammate were killed in an auto wreck in 1984.

Medford Tribune – Art & soul: Sculptor lives for his work

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