Lovers for Cyrus Tilton

For: Cyrus Tilton
Oakland, CA
Organizer: Vessel Gallery
Lovers for Cyrus Tilton (Cyrus Tilton)
of $154,025 goal.
Raised by 168 donors
16% Complete

The Story

We need your help to reach our financial goal for placing Lovers into The Crocker Art Museum's permanent collection. The Crocker Art Museum is the first public art museum in Western United States who show and loan their global collection rich in California art.
As a thank you for your gift of compassion

$2500-4999      Donor Nameplate Credit displays with the artwork

$5000+          The Cycle Package (includes Catalogue, Locust, and Donor Nameplate Credit )

It is with heavy heart Vessel Gallery shares the news that artist Cyrus James Tilton passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at his home in Oakland, California after a courageous year-long battle with esophageal cancer. He was surrounded by his devoted and loving wife Lisa Tilton and his family. He will be forever remembered for his exceptional, extraordinary artistic vision and talent, and for his honor and integrity. If Cyrus's work has left an impression, inspired you to connect, or made you ponder ideas about beauty and mystery – here’s a chance to remember him and ensure the legacy of his artwork.

In The Cycle, the locust serves a cautionary metaphor, and Tilton likened the insect to self-sabotaging consumers whose ultimate end will come once their resources are depleted or a massive natural disaster resets the cycle. “I see many sociobiological similarities between humans and certain species of insects,” he said. “For example, we have figured out ways to cheaply and efficiently produce sugars (in the literal and metaphorical sense) for the public’s mass consumption. We have eagerly refined ways of communicating to others in our community with minimal effort and maximum output. As our population grows our living situations take on similarities to that of a hive or colony. Our consumption habits are exponentially ceaseless and unrelenting.”

In the end, however, Tilton created The Cyclewith a sense of hope — the hope of changing course. In this too, he finds answers in the insect world, notably those that have evolved to work together for the common good, using only the resources necessary for the survival of the species.

Will you help? If your connection is personal, please join us, share, and tell others. If you have a professional connection, we ask for support thru aligning values, industries, corporations, and institutions to financially support the Lovers for Cyrus Tilton campaign. Contact us with your suggestions and connections who will help ensure Cyrus's placement into The Crocker Art Museum's permanent installation. Be sure to mark your calendars to see the artist's first solo museum exhibition, The Cycle, at the Crocker Art Museum from March 25 thru July 15, 2018.

Please contribute towards the placement of Lovers into the Crocker Art Museum's permanent collection, by making a gift of donation here. Gifts of all sizes are deeply appreciated and will collectively contribute to this immeasurable heartfelt and meaningful placement. Alternately, checks may be made out to Vessel Gallery, with memo "Lovers for Cyrus Tilton" and mailed to Vessel Gallery, 471 25th Street, Oakland, CA 94612

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Learn more about "Lovers for Cyrus Tilton" campaign

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on December 15, 2017

Posted on December 15, 2017

We have moved our deadline to raise this is now 3/31/18! 

Posted on November 29, 2017

Posted on November 29, 2017


We are in the final stretch to complete the donation of Loversto the Crocker Art Museum. Please help us reach our goal by making a donation!
Your donation will help us share Cyrus Tilton's message of environmental conservation with the public, which is more important than ever in the age of Trump and his rollback of necessary environmental regulations and protections.

Cyrus Tiltonused his art to explore his anxiety about overpopulation and its impact on the environment. Most notably, The Cycle serves as a cautionary metaphor — Tilton likened the swarming locust to humans and our depletion of the environment with mass consumerism.

In the end, however, Tilton created The Cycle with a sense of hope — the hope of changing course. In this, too, he finds answers in the insect world, pointing to those that have evolved to “work together for the common good, using only the resources necessary for the survival of the species.”

The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento recognized the importance of Tilton's message and awarded Cyrus Tilton the 2016 John S. Knudson Prize, which included a sum of $25,000 and a solo exhibition — the artist’s first solo museum show — March 25 to July 15, 2018.

Please consider financially supporting the placement of his sculpture Lovers in The Crocker Art Museum’s permanent collection. Thus far we have raised $26,000. We seek to raise a total of $130,000 to complete the Lovers donation gift to The Crocker Art Museum. Gifts over $5,000 will be recognized on the Donor Nameplate and official letter of acceptance. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent of the law, please consult your tax advisor.

It is my belief the proximity of Lovers to our state’s capital will keep this message of environmental conservation fresh in the minds of the public and our statespeople. It reminds us to avoid complacency in our habits and behaviors, and to care and protect one another, as well as our shared home. Lovers is an art of activism, Cyrus Tilton’s work will touch hearts and minds in powerful ways, and for years to come.

Do not hesitate to contact me for more information about supporting this compassionate art gift and thereby the environmental preservation movement. Thank you for your consideration.  We give thanks this holiday season for all the love and support towards this project of legacy for artist Cyrus Tilton. 

- Lonnie Lee, curator and Director, Vessel Gallery

Posted on September 8, 2017

Posted on September 8, 2017

NEWS in Crocker Art Museum in #ArtLetter (September / October / November / December 2017) full page ad on inside back cover is published and distributed.  Be sure to check your issue!  We are very excited for Cyrus's solo museum exhibition March 25, 2018.  Please consider a gift of your legacy to the legacy of Cyrus Tilton's masterpiece sculpture to the Crocker Art Museum.  Gifts of $2500+ (a charitable gift to the museum is tax deductible as permitted by the law) will be honored with nameplate recognition, which will follow the life of the work during any of it's exhibitions.

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