GRANTS PASS, Ore. — If Grants Pass Mayor Mike Murphy has his way, Grants Pass will soon have a bronze foundry in place. Murphy and the city council are working on plans to bring one or more bronze foundries to town to further solidify Grants Pass’ growing reputation as an art center.
For several years now, it seems that everywhere you look around Grants Pass there are bronze statues of bears and other life size or larger animals. Most of those sculptures were created here, but cast in other places. Grants Pass Mayor Mike Murphy says with the growing art community in the Rogue Valley, it’s Grants Pass’ turn to get some of that foundry business.
“I think it’s sort of a tipping point where we’ve got this art going on in the community. Grants pass is known for its river. It’s known for some other things. This just adds another dimension that we can appeal to another segment of the community out there for tourists and come and visit Grants Pass and see what we have to offer,” said Murphy
“With the idea of forming a study group or a group to look at this specifically with the idea of seeing if it is possible. And if it is, try to make that happen, that’s very encouraging,” says Bronze Foundry supporter Brady Adams.
The Grants Pass Glass Forge has become a big attraction for tourists and the owners think a bronze foundry could be a compliment.
“I think all that would bring in a kind of an older world flavor of art into the area and I think that’s really positive all the way around,” says Nathan Shaefor of The Glass Forge.
Thanks largely to the patronage of Evergreen Federal and Brady Adams, bronze sculptures have been popping up all around Grants Pass and Southern Oregon for several years now. Now, community leaders say it’s time to bring those foundries to Grants Pass so the work can be done closer at home.