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history OF riveropolis

1991  A child, known to have attention deficit disorder, is observed by Gavin spending two continuos hours playing with boats, sticks and leaves up to his knees in a frigid High Sierra creek.

1997  Facing eviction from a storefront art space in San Francisco, Gavin and assistant-collaborator David Heatley build a 100 foot water installation called

River-in-the-Hood  as a swan song. The project is a huge hit with the neighborhood but must close after 30 days. 

1998-2000  River-in-the-Hood is redesigned to become River Fantastic  and is purchased by the Bay Area Discovery Museum. It’s so popular that the crowd interacting with it can be seen from cars a quarter mile above driving over the Golden Gate Bridge.

2004  The first outdoor facilitated art river is deployed in Stockton, California as part of University of the Pacific’s Aquatopia public arts festival.

2004  Gavin builds “learning landscape” river with removable landscape trays so that individuals can craft landscapes in specific sections of real estate along the water. River Camp moves from art and science toward authorship studies and civics.

2004  The first River Camp takes place at the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland.  The camp is later expanded to the San Francisco School and other bay area locations.

2006  In a four week residency at the San Francisco’s de Young MuseumGavin creates  a river landscape with adults and children. 

2006  A five week public art river at Swan’s Market in Oakland as artist-in-

residence at MOCHA (Museum of Children’s Art).  Supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

2007-08 Extended residency in a storefront at Fruitvale Village, Oakland.



Riveropolis ®

2009  Recognized by the US Patent & Trademark Office as a trademark.

2011 A  completely new generation of fiberglass river forms emerges after two years of intensive design.  Gavin teaches himself how to build fiberglass forms  . . . see Riveropolis Equipment.