Love Spoken Here, 1999

Location

406 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, The sculptural seating area is located on the sidewalk where California Ave meets Ash St in front of Palo Alto Sol.

Love Spoken Here, William Wareham

About the Artwork

This set of welded steel furniture is in honor of Cordelia “Cordy” Bishop (1909 – 2008), who wrote about local history, volunteered extensively, and served as president of the Palo Alto Unified School District board in the 1950s and ‘60s. According to Bishop’s daughter, who commissioned the artwork, Love Spoken Here celebrates her parents’ arrival in Palo Alto as newlyweds. Cordelia herself suggested the title phrase that is cut into the table’s edge. The bench and chairs were cut and folded from a single piece of steel, and they provide a whimsical outdoor dining space in a vibrant area surrounded by restaurants.

About the Artist

William Wareham is a Bay Area-based artist specializing in using salvaged metal in abstract sculptural work that ranges from small, kinetic pieces for tabletops to architectural scale. As a fine art student at UC Berkley in the 1960s, he incorporated recycled military surplus material into his work. The artist creates functional objects, such as tables, chairs, and lamps, while continually engaging with the stories told by recycled materials and their formal qualities. Along with welded furniture, he also makes paintings and freestanding colorful sculptures. His work has been exhibited all through California, including solo shows at the Oakland Museum Sculpture Court and the Pacific Heritage Museum in San Francisco, as well as venues in Nevada, Hawaii, Illinois, and New Jersey.

Video

  • WILLIAM WAREHAM - Black Sheep Series

Fun Fact

Wareham has incorporated a diverse range of discarded metal objects into his work, including sections of rusted coil springs, crumpled hot water heater tanks, twisted angle iron, and auto parts.

Quotes

“I rework and change the forms to get a more dynamic relationship, interesting intervals, tension in the negative volumes or contrasting scale; all with the purpose of bringing a great sense of visual delight to our lives." William Wareham