n By Heidi Neel
After a lifetime of studying birds, local resident Stefan Savides is one of the most talented avian sculptors in the world. And the Klamath Basin proudly boasts more of his public works than anywhere else. Bird lovers and art aficionados alike will want to set their GPS for a day trip of pure beauty.
First stop is Savides’ A Swirl of Terns, located at Sky Lakes Medical Center. Take in the beautiful view of Klamath Lake, then enter the hospital’s main entrance to see the flock of Forster’s Terns. Savides designed and created a hanging sculpture as the focal point for the building’s main lobby. Each of 48 Forster’s Terns “fly” above the three-story atrium stairwell.
Next, leave the medical campus and motor south on Highway 97 to Main Street. As you approach Lake Ewauna (pronounced eh-WA-na), Pelican on Parade is perched in the intersection on the edge of Veteran’s Park. This seven-foot-tall bronze sculpture is a monument to the sheer beauty and fluid motion of the white pelican in flight. Rarely seen in other parts of Oregon, the white pelican is ubiquitous in Klamath Falls. The city honored Savides by choosing this piece as its official symbol.
Just past the park and over the Link River Bridge sits the Favell Museum. Here Savides will show several of his beautifully patinated bronze sculptures at the Favell Museum Invitational Art Show & Sale on Sept. 28-29, with an extended exhibit on display through Oct. 26.
For a final dose of beauty, head 20 miles south across the Basin to Tulelake, Calif. Depending on the time of year, you may see white-faced ibis, heron, egret, cormorant, grebe, white pelican, and gulls. But you’re looking for the Steel Pelican Silhouettes that grace the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters. Established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 as the nation’s first waterfowl refuge, there couldn’t be a more fitting home for world class avian sculptor Stephan Savide’s work.