SkyPalace is our connection to the sun, stars and sky above. Its steel and aluminum structure is rooted firmly in the soil of Wolf Run Ranch yet it stretches 70 feet upward alongside the grandeur of the surrounding majestic Doug Fir forest. SkyPalace is a gathering place, a learning place and a celebration place. Its white on white on white composition is the canvas for a continually changing digital image, narrative and color show projected from within across its undulating skin. It beams freshness and energy from the What The Festival community to all SkyPeople above. SkyPalace Sentinels are on duty 24/7 to teach the lore of the structure and hold space for its safety and enjoyment by all.
About The Creator: Owen William FlowStar Fritts
I grew up as a curious American boy in Europe during the 1960’s and 70’s. I was blessed with summer journeys in the family VW camper van exploring the continent, its natural landscapes, museums and the many unique cultures there. In the 80’s as a young man back in the USA I taught downhill skiing, and studied art, sculpture and eventually architecture. In my early 20’s I lived in New England, Colorado and Hawaii then settled outside Portland, Oregon in 1994. There I founded Eco-conscious design firm IDcollection which came to be called Intelligent Design. After ten years running I sold it. The green design elements of it became my current firm, Solidcore. I spent over two decades in the corporate and public architectural design worlds where I designed, created and had fabricated objects, interiors and built environments always with an eye on the global environmental impacts of my work.
In 2009 I turned my focus forward to sculpture and education. I consider sculpture a form of smaller architecture and vice-versa. Drawing from a unique background merging art, architecture, business, environmental awareness and global community building experiences I embed Eco and social narratives into my work which ranges from jewelry to multistory building sized public experiential installations. I now complete three to five large public sculptures per year.
I also teache “design thinking” and created the Earthaware Foundation (a division of Solidcore) to further my vision through 1-5 day interactive, hands-on, creative experience workshops. I both leads these events and “train the trainers” who then lead them independently. Earthaware workshops for children and adults have been run around the planet in Haiti, Malaysia, Kashmir, India, South Africa, The Netherlands, Belgium, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Italy, Thailand and Peru. Over 10,000 people have attended Earthaware workshops since they began six years ago.
I remain connected to the next generation of designers and thinkers by teaching and jury critiquing at primary schools, secondary schools, design universities and colleges as a guest or visiting instructor.
I have consulted for four years with the GGI Neuroscience Research Institute of San Francisco, CA, USA on the Advisory Board. They ask for my expertise in the design thinking process. I am sought for public speaking on both Green Design and the neuroscience backed “Flow-State Creative Process”. I have collaborated with many designers and neuroscientists on these topics and spoken at numerous conferences globally to audiences of over 1,000.
I served five years on the Board of Directors of the internationally acclaimed Architecture+Design Museum of Los Angeles, CA, USA. I am now the Director ofthe Advisory Board there where I join a team of globally recognized design thinkers and encourage an expanding focus on global environmental and cultural issues as they pertain to the human built world.
I further serve our environment as a past Board of Directors member and current Executive Adviser of SCRAP, a Portland, OR, USA based non-profit organization focused on diverting useable materials from landfills into school and community art programs.