Ol’ #7 by Ken Strait is a sculpture that memorializes his father, who passed away in 2015. Railroads were a major part of his youth as his father was a model railroader as well as a historian. His family vacations revolved around rail yards and following old unused rail tracks. The sculpture is of found material intended to convey the impression of a steam locomotive during the time of our nation’s expansion when steam connected the country from coast to coast.
This is my first work on my own. I have assisted in a great many projects ranging from event production (Phoenix Festival, Soak, various fund raising events) to large scale sculptures displayed at Burning Man and local events. I have been a tour manager for March Fourth Marching Band and a stage manager for other local productions. I have a great deal of experience with fire safety and crowd management surrounding fire sculpture and burnable art thanks to many years as fire safety lead for various Burning Man installations. This sculpture is the result of a desire to memorialize my father, who passed away in 2015. Railroads were a major part of my youth as my grandfather was a civil engineer for the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Along with that, my father was a model railroader as well as a historian. Our family vacations would invariably revolve around rail yards and following old unused rail tracks. The concept of the steam locomotive as a fire sculpture resonated for me and I would like to share this with the Winter Light Festival.