In spring of 2018, the Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association called for proposals for an intersection mural project, to be painted where Howe Street and Fairview Street meet in front of Building Trades Park. My proposal, Common Pollen, was selected and will be installed with help from community volunteers on August 4, 2018 (rain date is August 11).
The design is based on the shape of pollen from Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower, with the points of the pollen image suggesting the radiating petals of a sunflower, and the sun itself. I am interested in hugely magnifying the teeniest, tiniest part of a plant that everyone is familiar with. The design will be created with a set of cardboard stencils and the street paint used for marking lanes and traffic guides, to increase longevity.
I’ve created a handful of public art projects, but this is my first with volunteer help! To give volunteers an idea of the plan, I created a to-scale studio version of the mural, and a brief video to show the steps.
Funding provided in part through the City of Bloomington’s
Housing and Neighborhood Improvement Program (HAND).
In August of 2010, I participated in the Temporary Installation Made for the Environment (T.I.M.E.) Project in Los Ranchos (Albuquerque’s North Valley). Forage/Constellate was inspired by Apis mellifera, the sweet, sweet honeybee. This installation started with a series of dreams, including one where women were dancing intricate patterns around snow-covered beehives. The title Forage/Constellate came from my interest in the way that a solitary bee forages all day; as evening approaches, she returns to the hive to realign with her sisters. This project was interactive: viewers were invited to slip a meditation or “wish” into the honeycomb.
No Blue Without Orange
In November of 2008 I participated in the T.I.M.E. Project in Carlsbad, New Mexico. My installation No Blue Without Orange was at Halagueno Park, near the art museum.
The title of the installation is paraphrased from a Vincent Van Gogh quote: “There is no blue without yellow or without orange.” I found myself wondering if “nature” is blue, to “humankind’s” orange. There is beauty in the tension where the two meet.
In 2007, Silver City, New Mexico commissioned a Temporary Environmental Work (TEW) to be installed at the Murray Ryan Visitor Center during the city’s Weekend at the Galleries, October 5–8, 2007.
Rattle/Cry is a twist on the idea of a battle cry; I think of the sculptures as peace rattles. Direct inspiration came from the Chinese goddess of compassion and mercy, Kuan Yin, “she who hears the cries of the world.” I was also influenced by the sight of two rattlesnakes, while on a camping trip specifically to research this project… I took their appearance as a sign that I was on the right track.
Forage/Constellate, No Blue Without Orange, and Rattle/Cry were made possible by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the
National Endowment for the Arts.