I am thrilled to introduce you to the newest member of the Hoelle/Portilla household…


The Scarecrow.

The scarecrow is a creation of Joe Kowalczyk, an Oakland based sculptor. Ben and I met Joe and saw his work at the Oakland Art Murmur (the local art walk) shortly after we moved here. We’ve often talked about investing in one of his pieces, but we’ve had other fiscal priorities since then (e.g. my education). Ben secretly has been saving and working on acquiring this piece for us for about a year now.

I love Kowalczyk’s work. Each creature is so expressive and emotive. They pull me in; instilling in me a desire to know their unwritten life stories and the world(s) in which they come alive. Many of his works have masks, and the scarecrow falls into this group. The masks come off, but I think I’ll let the scarecrow decide who will see the face he hides. He’s going to be in a show in March (I think), so we don’t have him yet. We’ll have to visit him at the studio and in the show in the meantime.

I’m so excited about him, and I also look forward to meeting the artist again and learning more about the process of creating this piece. Thanks Ben! You’re the best! After this show, I don’t think the scarecrow will travel much, so you’ll have to visit us if you want to see him.