Original Emeryville Mudflat Artist Tyler Hoare ready to deploy latest Red Baron piece

1 min read

If I was indeed ever able to turn The E’ville Eye into a full-time profession, I’d make a conscious effort to write more about our history. Emeryville is so rich in history, yet so little of it is documented online for future E’villains. Everywhere you turn there’s an old building with a former life or a new building where something historic used to exist. So much of it has been eradicated over time and every year we lose opportunities to capture these stories.

The Emeryville Mudflat art is one of the few things remaining that tie our present to our past. One of the original Emeryville Mudflat artists Tyler Hoare is still active and ready to deploy his latest Red Baron Piece. Now 75, Hoare installed his first piece back in 1975 and is estimated to be on his 30ish iteration of his Red Baron series. Hoare’s last Red Baron was vandalized and he’s obligingly assembled another one to replace it.

Another of Hoare’s pieces that he dubbed “Victory” can be seen on the pier near Shorebird Park (See it soon before it washes away!).

Albany artist has latest Red Baron sculpture ready to fly


By Damin Esper
Ten, 20, 30, 40, 50 or more. Tyler Hoare can be forgiven for not remembering exactly how many airplanes he has put into the Bay. Hoare is ready to put another Red Baron out there just off Interstate 80 as soon as a deck damaged by a fire is repaired. It’s the continuation of a 40-year art project that started in a traffic jam.

“I worked in San Leandro for a long time and I was stuck in traffic and thought there should be something out there for people to look at,” he said.

So in 1975, Hoare went out to the mudflats off Emeryville, where about 20 wooden pilings that had once been a pier were sticking up out of the water. He put up a Red Baron in a World War I triplane on one post and a doghouse with Snoopy from the popular comic strip “Peanuts” on the other. Bullet holes riddled both “planes” but Hoare’s first installation lasted a good 20 years.

Read More on SJ Mercury News →

Photo Credit: Chris Treadway

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.


  1. So glad to see that the Red Baron continues to fly here in Emeryville. Yay! (I mean, apart from the fact that the original Red Baron shot down many Allies in WWI. My respect to them.)

    When I moved to Emeryville thirty years ago, I fell in love with the mudflat sculptures, not knowing at the time, of course, that they were a source of ecological destruction. The Emeryville mudflats had become more important than we knew Back then/at the time, mostly because we were one of the few cities that had not completely filled in/destroyed our mudflats.

    This posting is just to ask about the Minoan Snake Goddess controversy and whether you have information on it? I know it was in local media but it does not seem to come up when I search online for it.

    A few months before Caltrans removed all the Emeryville mudflat sculptures in the late 80s, a truly wonderful sculpture was placed a few hundred feet south of the Emeryville Marina on the shore by the 880 freeway. I think this was in the late 80s but it may have been the early 90s- and enough time has passed that I am more vague on the details than is strictly helpful, but I do remember what a wonderful piece of art it was, and how sad I was when it was vandalized.

    The controversy was that the vandalism of the sculpture was, at the time, interpreted as an attack on feminism. And there was a strong response.

    The Minoan Snake Goddess (Google it to see what this is!) represents feminine energy, nature, fertility, etc. And when the Emeryville Mudflat sculpture of the Minoan Snake Goddess was destroyed (late 80s?) this was interpreted in local media as an attack on Feminism and women, and there was outrage. In response,various local artists created mini-replicas of the original sculpture. (I seem to remember just a little more than half a dozen new sculptures, each being three to four feet tall). These were placed all over the mudflats – but were soon removed by Caltrans as part of their program to terminate Emeryville mudflat sculpture.

    This event was, as mentioned, at the end of the Emeryville Mudflat Sculpture history so it was not captured in film projects such as “Junkopedia” or the movie, “Harold and Maude”, both of which detail the Emeryville Mudflats sculptures. However, I’d be unhappy to think that such a beautiful sculpture and the incidents around it could be part of “Forgotten Emeryville”.


    Alistair McElwee

    • Thanks Allstair for posting this and your local knowledge. I’m not personally privy to this story but I hope someone comes across this and can provide some insight. It definitely is one that should be captured for historical purposes. Perhaps I’ll try to reach out toTyler Hoare and see if he has any recollection.

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