Sunlit Redwood Forest

Artist: Ryan Grossman

Location: 301 E Redwood Ave.

At the Forrester Building

Inspiration for this mural

As I considered how I was going to transform this wall I knew that I wanted to capture more than just the look of trees. I wanted to capture the experience, the awe that comes from gazing upwards in a thriving forest and seeing sunlight streaming through the branches. I wanted to capture the acid green backlit leaves, the welcoming quiet, the feeling of lushness and abundance. Nature is inspiring, both in a pristine state, but also in a state of recovery. I see great beauty and hopefulness in the process of re-growth, decade upon decade, century upon century. It was great to work with RFFI and learn more specifics about mixed-age forests and their work on behalf of our local forests and community. All of the trees, plants and details of this mural can be found in RFFI’s forests.” – Ryan Grossman

Huge thank you to our co-sponsor The Redwood Forest Foundation Inc.
In the late 1990’s a diverse group of community leaders from Mendocino County came together with a vision for local control of a natural resource on which the community depends. Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc (RFFI) was the first non-profit created to own and manage timberland for the benefit of neighboring communities. In 2007, RFFI purchased Usal Redwood Forest, 50,000 acres of working timberland, and placed a conservation easement on the property assuring it would remain as a single parcel of forestland. They immediately began the process of restoring forest structure and habitat, responding to climate change through carbon sequestration and reconnecting community members to the role and responsibility of managing a forest. It has not been without its challenges, but 15 years later, they are harvesting annually to support local employment, restoring watersheds and improving salmon habitat and selling carbon offsets into the California Cap and Trade market to support debt repayment. To find out more go to www.rffi.org


Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. and Usal Redwood Forest seems to be one of the best kept secrets in Fort Bragg, which is one of the reasons why we partnered with the Alleyway Art Project, Ryan Grossman, and Cynthia Sumner on the Sunlit Redwood Forest Mural. This
stunning mural is certain to inspire passersby to reflect upon and perhaps renew their personal connection with the forests of Northern California.”
Restore · Respond · Reconnect


About the Forrester Building

Location: 301 E Redwood Ave.

In October of 2019, artists Randy Tuell and Cynthia Sumner purchased a rather neglected building on the corner of E. Redwood & McPherson. Their intention was to create a place for artists to come together, to work and to live in an area that already actively supports the arts. The Forrester Building, (named after Cynthia’s grandparents), has now become a giant canvas and an example of the transformational power of public art.
​In early 2022, Cynthia launched Art Scene Studios, a co-working creative space in one of the large street front units. (309 E. Redwood Ave) Here, like-minded artists who enjoy working in the company of others are welcome to share their creative process with passersby. Keep an eye out for Open Studio dates and other events, and take a peak inside.

In the Redwoods

In the deep dimness, a frantic scramble

between wide trunks, over moist musky duff,

under snagging huckleberry.

Brittle brown redwood needles catch, beetles scuttle,

phallic boletes press through leaf litter,

fruiting bodies crisp or ooze, larvae-crawling rotten,

a slug tucks in the cavity it’s chewed.

Okay. Now stop. Breathe out.

Distant surf. In the dank air, around and under,

a slow thrum, the dark cello tones of plucked web:

translucent spider, mycorrhizal pathway, fungal filaments.

Look up.

One hand on old bark, the tree reliable,

follow the trunk. Up and up. Through

stretching acid-green foliage.

To where branches firework into blue arcing sky and

sun casts blinding joy shafts.

Here is where air is born.

By Ericka Lutz

Poetry and Prose generously donated by members of Writers of the Mendocino CoastLearn more about this fantastic group!