To find sculptor Anne Mudge, you need to travel far from the arty enclaves of San Diego’s Little Italy or East Village and drive all the way to Elfin Forest, a rural community outside Escondido’s city limits.
Mudge shares a trailer next to a seed farm with her husband, nurseryman Gilbert Foerster, and their dog, a border collie mix named Bandit. Her small trailer home and art studio — 600 square feet and 400 square feet, respectively — are nestled toward the end of a rutted dirt road, surrounded by fields and hills. There’s no street sign. No traffic, either.
“I sometimes go for days without talking to outsiders,” Mudge says.
Mudge, 59, describes herself as a hermit. Yet she makes public art, as well as works seen in museums and galleries. There’s a contrast, even a contradiction, between the isolated way she lives and the collaborative process required for public art. And an enormous difference between where she lives and the gritty urban places where her art is installed.
The contrast energizes her.
“I really need to mix with the world more and humanize these brutal spaces,” she says.