The mysterious artists behind the Atascadero monolith are introducing themselves to the world after replacing the steel beam on Pine Mountain.
Their first beam was taken down just 24 hours after it was installed December 1st.
Monoliths have been popping up from Romania to the deserts of Utah, and while many don’t know where these tall beams are coming from, a group of Atascadero residents and friends found inspiration in the global beams, and decided to build one of their own.
Atascadero residents, Wade Mckenzie and Travis Wade aren’t responsible for other monoliths spotted around the world, and they say there is no hidden meaning behind theirs.
“There is no esoteric agenda, there is no spiritual agenda, there’s no political agenda this is just a piece of art take it for what you will,” said Wade Mckenzie.
Their plan was ruined however, after video surfaced on Thursday showing a group of people from out of town stealing the monolith.
“You can chase people down, be an internet warrior..you can do whatever – but at the end of the day, it isn’t gonna get anything done,” says monolith artist Kenney.
So they got back to building.
“[Wade] owns a steel shop that does a lot of fabrication and art stuff and we said we are going to build [another monolith] that is going to stay,” said Kenney.
With the reinforcement of structural welding, the artists have put a new monolith in its place.
“Aesthetically they are basically about the same, the same material, same look, same welding locations on the outside,” said Mckenzie.
The city of Atascadero has also recognized their efforts.
“[For them] to come out and say hey we want to bring the joy and unity back and we are not going to let this take us down…I think it was really special and really speaks to who we are as a community,” said Atascadero City Mayor Heather Moreno.
The monolith has become a symbol of unity and strength, something many are trekking to find.
“Right now the key word in this area is resilience; Atascadero we are resilient and this town is growing itself back up,” Mckenzie said
Kenney and Mckenzie say they hope to continue creating more projects that will help bring their community together in the coming future.