Monday, September 20, 2021

An Egalitarian Museum: Peter Zumthor Remaking Los Angles's LACMA

Artist's rendering of the new LACMA designed by Atelier Peter Zumthor (set to open 2024). Fly-through video by Andrei Juradowitch © 2021. http://andreiucop.com/

THE NEW YORKER published a thoughtful article on Peter Zumthor's newly (and controversially) designed LACMA in October 2020. The article touches on several nuances of the project: local and municipal politic, meaning of art within cultural milieu and institutional structures -- all in the context of conversations with Zumthor in his hermitage in Haldenstein, Switzerland. Read the full article, here.

Below is the latest release from LACMA:

New galleries. More art. For all of Los Angeles.
A new way to encounter the world’s cultures—past, present, and future.

Over the last two decades, LACMA has sought to find new ways to embrace all the communities of Los Angeles County and honor all the world’s artistic traditions. Our goal is to make the experience of our collection richer and more accessible than ever before, while ensuring that the museum can be a place of reflection, expression, and empathy for everyone.

Interior gallery, exhibition level, Atelier Peter Zumthor/The Boundary

These years of evolution and expansion are culminating with the addition of the David Geffen Galleries, a magnificent new building for the permanent collection designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Peter Zumthor. With over $670 million raised out of a $750 million goal, and construction well underway, we are in the final stages of bringing this next evolution of LACMA to all of Los Angeles.

View north across Wilshire Boulevard, Atelier Peter Zumthor/The Boundary

An exciting aspect of LACMA’s new building is that it is Peter Zumthor’s first project in the United States. One of the world’s most respected architects, Zumthor is known for projects including the Therme Vals, Switzerland (1996); the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (1997); Kolumba Art Museum, Cologne (2007); and the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London (2011). 

A hallmark of Zumthor’s work is that no two buildings are the same; it is often noted that he has no single style. Several characteristics, however, are common to each project. First is the attention to the site, and another is the use of specific materials—wood, concrete, brick, or stone. Most prized of all is Zumthor’s skillful choreography of light and shadow in each of his buildings.

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.