Tuesday, September 7, 2021

SAY IT LOUD - Anne Johnson featured in the Nevada Virtual Gallery.

SAY IT LOUD - Nevada Virtual Gallery in collaboration with UNLV ©2021 by BeyondtheBuilt.com.

Beyond the Built Environment "uniquely address the inequitable disparities in architecture by providing a holistic platform aimed to support numerous stages of the architecture pipeline. [They] promote agency among diverse audiences and advocate for equity in the built environment through [their] approach which utilizes a method ... termed "the triple E, C". The triple E, C method is a strategy to: Engage, Elevate, Educate, and Collaborate."

A collaboration between Beyond the Built Environment and The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, explore Anne's two virtual galleries at SAY IT LOUD - Nevada Virtual Gallery. The two featured projects are:

  • Winchester Cultural Center Dance Studio (2013) - Las Vegas
  • RTC Mobility Training Center - Interior Murals & Streetscape (2016) - Las Vegas
Find additional project details, photographs, and a Q&A session with SAY IT LOUD, here

Friday, August 20, 2021

A Deeper Look at Jim Hodges' Shining Boulders


 Jim Hodges’ sculptural boulders, Untitled (2011). Source: Walker Art Center, Paul Schmelzer © All Rights Reserved.

One is easily captivated by Jim Hodges' shining boulders, with their brilliant colors and refracting light. The idea behind these pieces came to him during a trip to India. Jim's experiences of a cacophony of color and complex layering: temples flying flags in Rajasthani fields, Ganesha statues painted orange and gold, images of the Hindu deity Hanuman enhanced with red or orange paint, women pouring water as they prayed... 

“As you walk amid the sculptures and they are animated by light, they at once seem massive and monumental yet light and buoyant, almost weightless,” Walker executive director Olga Viso wrote. For Hodges, the initial idea came to him quickly, but the process to fabricate the stainless-steel high-gloss skins to each rock, each over 400 million years old, was an intensive and prolonged process.

Paul Schmelzer writes: "Seemingly dipped in molten metal, the sculpture is an accessible, shining landmark on the Walker’s grassy slope. But the simplicity of the design—especially its highly reflective surface—is the result of a complex, sophisticated process. Body putty was applied to each boulder to create a smooth exterior; then, after a mold was made from that, the stainless steel was cast. The rock surface was chipped away to accept the stainless steel veneers, arriving at a perfect fit between skin and stone. The thin steel sheets, which were painted with clear-coat mixed with a dye typically used on motorcycles, were adhered with pins and epoxy."

Read the full article from the Walker Art Center, here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Sparkflight Studios believes in the power of public art.


Marble Manor Enhancement Project (2009), Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority. Image by Sparkflight Studios, © All Rights Reserved.

Sparkflight Studios believes in the power of public art. From our experiences, we know art to be a vehicle for uplifting the human spirit. Over the years, we have refined our approach, which tends to be four-fold, ranging from the "small" to the "extra-large":

  • Small: attention to detail, materiality, and scale.
  • Medium: the concinnity of the "small" elements. 
  • Large: sensitivity to the social, environmental, historical, and cultural milieu.
  • Extra-Large: holding the past, living the present, and projecting art for future generations.
In the past, we've posted organizations such as Artolution and Forecast, to whom we look towards for trustworthy guidance when it comes to making powerful art and positive change in communities. For us too, community participation is important. For instance, in our Canal Convergence sculpture proposal in Scottsdale, community members would write messages to be tied on the steel sculptural framework as "good wishes" to be exchanged. In our Marble Manor Enhancement Project, we facilitated community participation to enliven the building with brightly-colored murals.

We are now excited to announce that we are working on two new public art proposals:
  • Milestone Park in North Las Vegas
  • City of Henderson Water Street sculptures
Check back on the blog for more information coming soon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

It's Back-To-School Time!

 

Futuro Academy, Charter Schools Development Corporation, East Las Vegas campus. Images by Sparkflight Studios, © All Rights Reserved.

It brings collective joy and relief that our children are back to school and enjoying running, playing, and learning together in the same space again! It has been Sparkflight's privilege to realize the Futuro Academy, together with the Charter Schools Development Corporation, as a long-term client through four phases, and ongoing projects for the school. Futuro Academy now operates in a former grocery store that has been renovated on approximately 4.6 acres of land, and includes classrooms, a health center, and multi-purpose room with adjacent food service area.

Friday, July 2, 2021

From ev'ry mountainside, Let freedom ring!

Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, © All Rights Reserved.

With joy and shared enthusiasm, Sparkflight Studios wishes you and your loved ones a blessed Fourth.

 

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

...

We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

 — Langston Hughes, July 1936


From The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Copyright © 1994 the Estate of Langston Hughes.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Happy Juneteenth Freedom Day!

The Sankofa Village for the Arts drum and dance group performing during the Jubilee of Freemen Parade to celebrate Juneteenth at Point State Park last year in Pittsburgh. Credit: Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, via Associated Press.

On June 19, 1865, enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free. A century and a half later, we hold that moment in collective joy, and listen to its resonance pass down to every generation. Happy Juneteenth Freedom Day!

Follow this link for a list of tomorrow's celebrations in the Las Vegas valley, here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Forecast advances justice, health, and human dignity through public art.

Image credit: The annual 4th Avenue Fest in Austin, MN was imagined by city planner Holly Wallace, Cheryl Berglund of MacPhail Austin (pictured percussion experience), and multiple community artists and volunteers.

Forecast is a non-profit arts organization founded in 1978 by and for artists working in public space. Based in Saint Paul, MN and working both locally and nationally, Forecast connects artists with cities, institutions and communities to courageously tackle the vital issues of our time. They partner with decision-makers and stakeholders on arts and cultural planning efforts, and support public artists with funding, training and opportunities to create partnerships and advance their public art careers. They also help others find, select, curate, fund and commission public artists. Forecast emphasizes access for artists of color, indigenous artists, and groups that are traditionally excluded.

This blog post's headline image captures moments from a Forecast project which assisted with identifying evaluation criteria and survey questions for the annual 4th Avenue Fest in Austin, MN, involving volunteers in capturing responses to the expanded, intercultural event (with very positive responses).

Download Forecast's LookBook to view the full Planning + Engagement and Commissioning + Curation project portfolio.