Astoria Net Shed – Big Red

Astoria Net Shed – Big Red

From: $53.00

Under a brilliant blue sky in early spring, a net shed along Astoria’s historic waterfront, known as Big Red, stands against a backdrop of cargo ships anchored in the Columbia River estuary.  This iconic 25,000 square foot net shed, with its distinctive red facade, carries a storied past that intertwines with the city’s history and the lives of its fishermen.  Built in 1897 during the heyday of Astoria’s fishing industry, Big Red served as a vital hub for fishermen to store, mend, and maintain gear. Its strategic location near the fishing docks and canneries made it a central gathering place for fishermen, who would swap stories, share knowledge, repair boats, and prepare for their next fishing excursion.  As the years passed, Big Red survived the ebb and flow of Astoria’s fishing fortunes. Through boom times and busts, it remained a steadfast presence on the waterfront, bearing witness to the comings and goings of generations of fishermen and their families.  In the latter half of the 20th century, as the fishing industry evolved and modernized, Big Red’s role began to change.  Advances in fishing technology eliminated the need for traditional net sheds, and many of these historic structures fell into disuse or were repurposed for other uses. Yet, Big Red endured, its weathered facade a reminder of Astoria’s maritime heritage and the enduring spirit of the city’s waterfront community.  The last occupant, and owner of Big Red was artist Royal Nebeker (1945-2014), a painter and print maker, who had his studio there.  On December 2-3rd of 2007, the West Coast was hit by the Great Coastal Gale of 2007, which generated wind gusts up to 94 mph in Astoria, and caused severe damage to Big Red.  With the building uninsured against extreme weather, the roof gone, half the north wall blown off, and the boat lift collapsed into the bay, the building was left unrepaired, and is now tragically rotting away.  Royal Nebeker, who served two terms as director of the Oregon Arts Commission , is also considered to have been helped put Astoria on the map as a destination hub for the arts, and in particular print making.  I found one particularly lovely quote attributed to Nebeker which reads: [“This process of painting resembles looking through a night window. I peer out, observing and at the same time see the reflection of the interior conditions of my own reality. It is my intent that as the viewer peers into my painting, he will not only see a visual record of meaning in my life, but will discover the reflection of meaning in their own, as in a night window.”]. Currently restoration projects have revitalized several of Astoria’s iconic waterfront structures, transforming them into cultural landmarks, valuable commercial space, lodging, and community spaces that celebrate the town’s rich maritime history.   At the time of my writing this caption, the net shed is now 127 years old, and it would truly be shameful if Big Red weren’t fully restored for future generations to enjoy and utilize. Clatsop County, North Oregon Coast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Image Number: 331-247-330

Description

Under a brilliant blue sky in early spring, a net shed along Astoria’s historic waterfront, known as Big Red, stands against a backdrop of cargo ships anchored in the Columbia River estuary.  This iconic 25,000 square foot net shed, with its distinctive red facade, carries a storied past that intertwines with the city’s history and the lives of its fishermen.  Built in 1897 during the heyday of Astoria’s fishing industry, Big Red served as a vital hub for fishermen to store, mend, and maintain gear. Its strategic location near the fishing docks and canneries made it a central gathering place for fishermen, who would swap stories, share knowledge, repair boats, and prepare for their next fishing excursion.  As the years passed, Big Red survived the ebb and flow of Astoria’s fishing fortunes. Through boom times and busts, it remained a steadfast presence on the waterfront, bearing witness to the comings and goings of generations of fishermen and their families.  In the latter half of the 20th century, as the fishing industry evolved and modernized, Big Red’s role began to change.  Advances in fishing technology eliminated the need for traditional net sheds, and many of these historic structures fell into disuse or were repurposed for other uses. Yet, Big Red endured, its weathered facade a reminder of Astoria’s maritime heritage and the enduring spirit of the city’s waterfront community.  The last occupant, and owner of Big Red was artist Royal Nebeker (1945-2014), a painter and print maker, who had his studio there.  On December 2-3rd of 2007, the West Coast was hit by the Great Coastal Gale of 2007, which generated wind gusts up to 94 mph in Astoria, and caused severe damage to Big Red.  With the building uninsured against extreme weather, the roof gone, half the north wall blown off, and the boat lift collapsed into the bay, the building was left unrepaired, and is now tragically rotting away.  Royal Nebeker, who served two terms as director of the Oregon Arts Commission , is also considered to have been helped put Astoria on the map as a destination hub for the arts, and in particular print making.  I found one particularly lovely quote attributed to Nebeker which reads: [“This process of painting resembles looking through a night window. I peer out, observing and at the same time see the reflection of the interior conditions of my own reality. It is my intent that as the viewer peers into my painting, he will not only see a visual record of meaning in my life, but will discover the reflection of meaning in their own, as in a night window.”]. Currently restoration projects have revitalized several of Astoria’s iconic waterfront structures, transforming them into cultural landmarks, valuable commercial space, lodging, and community spaces that celebrate the town’s rich maritime history.   At the time of my writing this caption, the net shed is now 127 years old, and it would truly be shameful if Big Red weren’t fully restored for future generations to enjoy and utilize. Clatsop County, North Oregon Coast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Print, Framed Print, Canvas, Metal

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8" x 12", 10" x 15", 12" x 18", 14" x 20", 16" x 24", 18" x 24", 20" x 30", 24" X 32", 24" x 36", 29" x 40", 30" x 45", 32" x 45", 36" x 48", 37" x 56", 40" x 60", 46" x 69", 50" x 75"

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