Posted by: Craig Woolheater on September 9th, 2006
30 years ago, artist Tom D’onofrio had a sighting of a strange creature in the waves off the Northern California coast.
KGO-TV, the local news affiliate for the Bay Area, ran a story on the 30th anniversary event organized by Mr. D’onorfrio. The station’s website has the story in its entirety, along with the video clip of the newscast.
Tom D’onofrio, artist: "It was a big glassy wave and right in the wall of that wave was a dark object big like 40, 50 feet long. And I looked at him and he looked at me and my eyes must of been like that I mean it was like nothing I’ve ever seen.
Tom D’onofrio: "It was thick and it was wide and it had lots of body to it but it wasn’t a whale – that’s what I first thought but it wasn’t a whale because it was kind of doing like this. And it disappeared and I said what in the world is that?"
Since that spiritual moment, as he calls it, the rolling, undulating form he saw in that surf appears in most everything he does. Now, Tom’s insistent serpent appears on the bow of a boat decorated just for this celebration.
Tom D’onofrio: "I was in the presence of something I couldn’t cope with, so I went back got on my horse, went back to the studio filled with this energy, this came to me to get this piece finished. I am going to loose this energy man, and I am going to finish this piece and I carved for 4 days I never came out except to eat."