Anza – Borrego Galleta Meadows Metal Sculptures

In which you learn about giant art in the desert …

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Guest post by Marilyn Ebner, who lives in the high desert of Sisters, Oregon. The past 4 winters in order to escape the cold and snow of Sisters, she and husband, Denny escape to Borrego Springs, California to hike in the real desert of Borrego Springs State Park.

Imagine your first trip to Borrego Springs, which is set out in the wide open desert of 600,000 Anza-Borrego State Park acres. You find yourself driving on Borrego Springs Rd, which runs both north and south of the town itself. You suddenly look off in the distance scanning both sides of the road and you see large, rusted life-size and larger figures of camels, saber-tooth tigers, wild horses, turtles, serpents, giant sloths, mammoths, giant birds, and dinosaurs. No, your eyes are not deceiving you, there really are strange figures stuck out in the middle of ocotillo, barrel, and cholla cactus. The cactus is normal to the desert in east San Diego County. However, the rusted figures before your eyes obviously are neither natural, normal and are definitely, man-made.

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So, as most people do when encountering these creatures for the first time, you’ll stop, pull off the road into the dirt, get out of your car, grab your camera and take a photo or two or three of whatever sculptures grabbed your eyesight and subsequent interest. Except for one sign “Galleta Meadows Open to the Public,” there seems to be no explanation for these sculptures that seem to miraculously pop up out of the desert floor. So how did they get there?

 

The sculptures were created and built by Sculptor/ Artist Ricardo Breceda, out of scrap reinforcement bars, wire and metal. They were commissioned by the owner/developer of Galleta Meadows Estates, Dennis Avery, who created his vision of this unique sculpture garden in the unlikely place of the desert surrounding Borrego Springs.

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On any given day, as you drive Borrego Springs Rd., you’ll see bus loads of people and cars doing just what you did when you happened onto the sculptures for the first time. In the past four years, Denny and I certainly have enjoyed taking family and friends to see them and see their varied reactions to the sculptures. We’ve taken many photos of us and others posing in front of them. One of our favorites, is the large serpent that seems to crawl from one open field, under Digorgio Road, then into the field on the other side. Another personal favorite is the scorpion. Both have made an appearance in our annual family calendars.

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