Ephraim Brown’s Metalwork at the Oroville Trading Post

The windows of the Oroville Trading Post—which consists of two 1890’s buildings—have seen at least 100 years of displays of goods for sale within, possibly even with holiday decorations. It is highly doubtful that the former haberdashery, motorcycle dealership, or hardware store, the site’s several retail businesses over the past century, ever featured works of art.

Our goal at 49º North Artists was always to put metalwork art in the empty windows, preferably work by a local artist. Took us awhile to find E.C. Brown Anomalies from Aeneas Valley. In fact, we didn’t so much “find” Ephraim Brown as recognize his unique vehicle in a parking lot and jumped him before he could drive away, begging him to put his work in Oroville! Today we are proud to honor the history of the Oroville Trading Post windows by presenting Brown Anomalies in the north window.

Brown Anomalies emphasize the beauty of ordinary physics through the
re-arrangement of bygone engineering of metal into art. Re-imagining, re-purposing, re-storing – whatever the words, the result is a fresh way to look at form and harmony. In fact, if you’ve ever spotted Ephraim’s ride around town, you have been treated to a marvel of after-market sheet-metal ingenuity and discerning eye!

A second window at the Trading Post awaits the addition of more local metal art pieces. Meanwhile, 49º North Artists has set up a terrific example of Mother Nature’s handiwork, restyling a discarded bicycle, along with the imaginative use of a 1965 Corvette steering wheel. Hopefully, this will encourage more Found Art by creative local metalsmiths that we can showcase – lots of space yet in that window, lots of fun just tweaking the gallery notion of Art.

By the way, we also installed enlarged antique photographs in the same windows that show the present-day Trading Post buildings on the corner. One of the photos depicts the 4th of July parade southbound on Main Street; the other is looking north at the SE corner. If you look carefully today, you will see the false front of the second building—now against the Pastime—holding up the shingle-covered canopy of the Trading Post.