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Art and Culture

North Mason teacher's Metal Greek goddess takes root

Belfair Herald of Belfair, Washington

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A mythic nymph fleeing the amorous advances of the sun god Apollo inspired sculptor Karsten Boysen to transform rusty roadside metal into artwork recently unveiled in Lake Oswego, Ore.

Boysen's seven-foot-tall welded steel sculpture "Daphne" is one of 15 pieces selected for display at Lake Oswego's outdoor exhibition and competition "Gallery Without Walls." Boysen is a Port Orchard artist who frequently works as a substitute teacher at North Mason High School. His welded steel piece "Eagle/Salmon Spirit Rising" is on display at the Hood Canal Salmon Restoration Center in Belfair.

Boysten used rusted galvanized culverts, twisted steel beams and bent fence posts to craft "Daphne." He found the discarded metal on Simpson logging land near Forks, in the Banner Forest in South Kitsap Comity and alongside road projects in Port Orchard.

The sculptor said he's not sure what he's creating when he begins working with the metal.

"Once it has a shape, once it is completed, then I try to associate what it means with a name," he said.

In this case, Boysen conjured Daphne, a figure in ancient Greek mythology. Fleeing the unwanted advances of the god Apollo, Daphne begged her father Peneus to change her form. Her skin suddenly turned into bark, her hair became leaves and her arms were transformed into branches of a laurel tree. Apollo vowed to take care of her as a tree, and used her leaves to decorate crowns.

Boysen created "Daphne" in Port Orchard, and finished it with a fluorescent green pow-dercoat reminiscent of new He then submitted a photograph of the piece to the Lake Oswego show.

The artist received an $850 honorarium from the Arts Council of Lake Oswego for participating.

The 71-year-old Boysen has taught art at the University of Washington and the University of Alaska Juneau.

His work is on display at the Collective Visions Gallery in Bremerton.

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Original Publication Date: August 30, 2012

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