Lovers for Cyrus Tilton

For: Cyrus Tilton
Oakland, CA
Organizer: Vessel Gallery
of $154,025 goal.
Raised by 160 donors
15% Complete
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The Story

Many have come to know Cyrus Tilton’s fascinating, superbly crafted sculpture and drawings through Vessel Gallery. Cyrus was recently diagnosed with stage-four esophageal cancer.  If Cyrus' work has left an impression, inspired you to connect, or made you ponder ideas about beauty and mystery – here’s a chance to thank him for enriching your life, and ensure the legacy of his artwork.

The Lovers for Cyrus Tilton campaign is reaching out to all who love and value the power of visual arts, and who appreciate Tilton’s work and its thematic values connecting humanity to the environment, to join in philanthropic support. 

Collectors, art enthusiasts, and community members have frequently expressed the wish that Lovers find a permanent home. We have done just this!We are excited to announce The Crocker Art Museum has warmly accepted Cyrus Tilton's LOVERS into their permanent collection. The Crocker will unveil the work with a solo exhibition of Tilton's The Cycle scheduled August-November 2018!

We’re asking for your help in completing this dream come true. Please consider gifting a donation / pledge towards completing the purchase of Lovers so that the Crocker Art Museum can exhibit, share, and loan it, and it may be pondered and enjoyed for years to come. 

In 2012, The Cycle filled all of Vessel Gallery with a series of works inspired by the life cycle and behavior of insects that, when looked at through the lens Tilton created, came to seem all too human. We peered into Potentials, a series of wall-mounted sculptures that rendered chunks of earth in cross-section, revealing nested clusters of locust eggs. We walked through a swarm of hundreds of carefully fashioned Individuals, a stunning, immersive, kinetic and sonic installation. Finally, we stepped gingerly around the awesome Lovers, a pair of human-scale mating locusts. Lovers has since been installed in several locations and seen in multiple exhibitions. Those who saw it were mesmerized by The Cycle, especially Lovers.

Will you help? If your connection is personal, please join us, share, and tell others. If you have a professional connection, we ask your support thru aligning industries, corporations, and institutions to support the Lovers for Cyrus Tilton campaign.  Contact us with your support. And be sure to come by Vessel before January 26, 2017, to see Lovers—they’re still getting it on.

Please contribute towards the placement of Lovers into the Crocker Art Museum's permanent collection, by making a gift of donation here. Gifts of 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 April 12, 2017

Posted on April 12, 2017

The Cycle
For a long time I have had intense anxieties relating to the world's overpopulation.
Growing up in the sparsely populated environment of Alaska, then moving to Oakland,
California, amplified this anxiety. I believe we are walking a line of human behavioral
evolution.We are adapting to population growth, consciously or subconsciously trying to
find a balance within our human nature to allow for successful cohabitation.
The Cycle uses the locust as a metaphor for my fears of human population growth falling out
of balance with a sustainable environment, ultimately becoming a self-sabotaging mass of
consumers whose end will only be seen once the last blade of grass is gone or a massive
natural disaster resets the cycle. I see many socio-biological similarities between humans and
certain species of insects. For example, we have figured out ways to cheaply and efficiently
produce sugars both literally and metaphorically for the public's mass consumption.We have
eagerly refined ways of communicating to others with minimal effort and maximum output.
As our population grows, our living situations take on aspects similar to those of a hive or
colony. Our consumption habits are exponentially ceaseless and unrelenting.
During the early stages of my creative process I’m often driven by cynical emotions
influenced by my visceral views on society. As I worked on the pieces for The Cycle, I got
the chance to spend time with my thoughts on overpopulation and consumption. While
working on The Cycle I have called for a great deal of help from my community to make
the show possible. Without the promise of a paycheck, a small army of friends and family
enthusiastically gathered to help in production and problem solving, not to mention
emotional support.The experience of working with people towards a common goal allowed
me to re-examine my original thoughts on this show as well as promoted some unexpected
personal growth. From this experience I am taking a cautious but exciting step towards
It is my hope that we can reject our tendencies towards the growing swarm of mass consumerism,
and that perhaps the line of human evolution that we are walking will fall on the
side - the side similar to that of the hive that works together for the common good. The
side similar to the colony that is more mindful of using only the necessary resources to
make a sustainable future happen in a non-destructive way. If we can achieve and maintain
this balance there may be hope for us after all.
- Cyrus Tilton

Posted on April 2, 2017

Posted on April 2, 2017

It is with heavy heart we share the news that Cyrus Tilton passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 28th. He was surrounded by his devoted and loving wife and family. He will be forever remembered for his exceptional extraordinary artistic vision and talent, and his kindness and empathy.

We ask for your support in securing Cyrus' legacy as a California artist. Gifts of remembrance will help his artwork LOVERS to be shared with the public for decades to come at The Crocker Art Museum​, in Sacramento, CA.

Posted on March 12, 2017

Posted on March 12, 2017

Cyrus Tilton continues with great will and determination in his fight against cancer. Collectively we gather our gifts of hope, and loving encouragement, to surround him with a fortitude of faith, and to strengthen his spirits.  A gift today can mean so much.  Please share this update and request with others. 

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