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!