Adrian Green: 1925 ~ 2016

 

David Armstrong Adrian Gregory Green, a 60-year resident of Three Rivers, died peacefully in his sleep at his home on Sunday, June 26, 2016. He was 91.

A celebration of Adrian’s life will be held Friday, Aug. 12, 5-8 pm, at St. Anthony Retreat.

Adrian was born February 4, 1925, in Lindsay, Calif., to Eugene and Mabel Green. Adrian was a descendant of Nathan Dillon, one of Tulare County’s first settlers.

His parents were citrus ranchers, so Adrian was raised on ranches in Lindsay and, later, on the outskirts of Visalia. He graduated from Visalia High School (present-day Redwood High School) and College of the Sequoias. 

Like nearly all San Joaquin Valley ranching families, the Greens would escape the oppressive summer heat by going to the mountains. The Greens discovered Mineral King, then in Sequoia National Forest, and with their children in tow, spent summers camping at the old Sunny Point walk-in campground along the East Fork of the Kaweah River.

The Greens eventually bought the Holly cabin from an old miner for $60. In the late 1940s, the family moved to another lot and built their own cabin.

Adrian left Tulare County during World War II to serve in the U.S. Navy, where he was stationed in the South Pacific from 1943 to 1946.

After returning to California, Adrian entered the art program at UC Berkeley. In 1948, he graduated from Cal with his B.A. degree in Art. 

After graduating, Adrian traveled extensively in Mexico and attended Instituto Allende, a school for the visual arts in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Although Adrian knew from the age of 15 he was going to be an artist, it was his trips to the Yucatan and experiencing the ancient art of the Mayan people that set him on his life’s path to being a sculptor of clay and stone.

Adrian would return to Tulare County every summer to spend time at his family’s cabin in Mineral King. He assisted with the construction, built the stone chimney and, in 1950, hauled a boulder from the Kaweah River to the cabin and sculpted his first masterpiece there.

In the meantime, in the 1950s, Adrian settled in Three Rivers. The Greens’ cabin was destroyed by fire in the 1970s, and all that was left standing was the stone fireplace.

At this time, the Mineral King area was embroiled in controversy as the Disney Corporation pursued the development of  a world-class ski resort in this High Sierra alpine valley. With the future of Mineral King and its historic cabins in flux, the Green cabin was not be rebuilt. 

But that didn’t stop Adrian from spending time in his beloved, inspirational mountain home. He set up a camp and lived outside on his leased lot nearly every summer for the next quarter century.

Adrian’s art is displayed throughout Three Rivers and the world. He had many sculptural commissions over the years, including a home in Malibu designed by architect John Lautner featuring 120 granite boulders; the Three Rivers Arts Center amphitheater, commissioned by John Holden; a granite flying horseman and eagle for Pierre Fries in France and Switzerland;  numerous sculptures for the Ann Ree Colton Foundation of Niscience in Glendale, Calif.; 10 fonts and a baptismal font in La Canada, Calif.; a baptismal font-turned-fountain at St. Anthony Retreat, Three Rivers; a spouting granite fish at Reimer’s Candies, Three Rivers; and many others. His two-dimensional artwork utilized watercolor, pencil, glass etchings, and pastels, also spanning his lifetime. 

On April 22, 1970, in celebration of the first Earth Day, Adrian hosted a festival of visual and performing arts and healthy food on the grounds of his hillside home in Three Rivers. Earth Day marked the birth of the modern environmental movement, something that Adrian celebrated daily with his art medium and connection to the land since his upbringing.

During his lifetime, Adrian was greatly influenced by Ann Ree Colton and her Foundation of Niscience. Once each year, this Christ-centered organization would honor Buddhism with an observance called Wesak, an astrological alignment wherein the spirit of the Buddha and the spirit of the Christ are blended.

In May 1971, Adrian hosted Wesak in Three Rivers. Traditionally, Wesak is aimed at bridging harmony between East and West and reconciliation to all. Adrian’s event included East Indian, rock, and classical music, the latter by the Tulare County Symphony.

The annual festival continued for many years in Three Rivers. In 2012, Adrian and friends hosted an anniversary celebration of the first Three Rivers Wesak.

In 1973, Adrian opened the Garden Gate Restaurant in Three Rivers. It was an organic, vegetarian restaurant with an open floor plan and riverside seating. He was driven by the desire to offer a healthier, more spiritual way of eating, which was quite ahead of its time.

The restaurant closed four years later, and Adrian moved from his property across the street into the riverfront setting, which is where he resided the remainder of his life.

A great source of joy for Adrian was being able to see his cabin in Mineral King be rebuilt in 2015, 40 years after it was destroyed. And in his final days, Adrian was still inspired by the Earth and its natural processes while seeking new avenues of creativity.

“What an incredible way to live and a life well spent,” said his niece, Tracy.

Adrian never married. He is survived by his three nieces, Tracy Off, Melinda Almanza, and Janet Cashero; several cousins; and many close friends.

 

REMEMBERING ADRIAN – IN HIS OWN WORDS:

 

I was raised on a citrus ranch in Venice Cove [near Ivanhoe] and was encouraged as a child to spend lots of my time outside with nature. I literally ran wild in the hills and endless orchards.

—Adrian Green, The Kaweah Commonwealth, March 2009

 

In the summertime, I roamed up and down the Mineral King valley, hiked every trail, and climbed in and out of every canyon I could find. It was a wondrous childhood.

—Adrian Green, The Kaweah Commonwealth, March 2009 

 

Ever since the late 1920s, when as a babe in arms I came here, I’ve been having a romance with Three Rivers. Building my house and all that came out of it is what my art is all about. Here in Three Rivers, you can do large things, whether it’s writing, music, or any of the arts. And for me, it’s water and stone.

—Adrian Green, The Kaweah Commonwealth, March 2006

 

Wesack is a blending of the East and the West here on Earth… We are looking forward to the 41st anniversary of our first Three Rivers Wesak.

—Adrian Green, The Kaweah Commonwealth, September 2011

 

How wonderful it is to live in these beautiful foothills and high mountains.

—Adrian Green, The Kaweah Commonwealth, May 1998

 

My life has had its share of suffering and pain but what I will always remember is its wonderful gifts. When you have such a harmonic conjunction of timing and grace, one’s wholeness is a work of art in itself.

—Adrian Green, The Kaweah Commonwealth, March 2009

 

Cooked nettles with soy sauce and garlic are very good and nutritious. Watercress as the principle ingredient in a salad is very tangy and excellent for the liver.

—Adrian Green, The Kaweah Commonwealth, March 2008

 

Pre-Columbian art had a profound effect upon me. I went to Mexico as an aspiring painter and left there as a fledgling sculptor.

—From Adrian Green’s website

 

In my extreme old age, I am examining many dozens of artworks made over my lifetime, which have become as food for me now. I am nourished from them each day, savoring all the past experiences they represent.

—From Adrian Green’s website

 

He led a charmed life, not that he didn’t have life challenges, however, during his lifetime he managed to always surround himself with beauty.

—Terry Carson, close friend 

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