Dendroids by Roxy Paine

 Posted by on February 21, 2018
Feb 212018
 
Dendroids by Roxy Paine

Philadelphia – February 2018 Benjamin Franklin Parkway 24th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue This piece, titled Symbiosis by Roxy Paine, was installed in 2014.  It is stainless steel and part of Paine’s “Dendroid” series of stainless steel treelike structures. “Dendroids”is a greek word that combines Dendron meaning tree and oid a suffix meaning form. The piece is 34 feet tall and is hand-fabricated from thousands of pieces of pipe, plate and rods, welded and polished to create these two forms that weigh and buttress each other. Roxy Paine was born in New York City in 1966. He was educated at both Continue Reading

Gloria Victis

 Posted by on January 24, 2018
Jan 242018
 
Gloria Victis

Civic Center 505 Van Ness Edmund G. Brown State Office Building Closed Weekends The statue was a project between the Hungarian Freedom Fighters Federation of San Francisco and the Honorable Ernie Konnyu, a former Representative of the California State Assembly. The statue portrays Hungaria, the Spirit of Hungary, and symbolizes the idea of everlasting hope in spite of defeat. The statue expresses the aspirations of all people in their hunger for freedom.  It is a memorial to all nations defeated by brutal force, whose love of liberty and spirit must stay alive to strive to free themselves again. The statue Continue Reading

The Seed in Jane Warner Plaza

 Posted by on January 23, 2018
Jan 232018
 
The Seed in Jane Warner Plaza

Castro District “The Seed” is part of a complete redo of the intersection of Castro and Market.  It was created by Los Angeles-based Aphidoidea, a multi-disciplinary design, architecture and art collective. “The Seed” was inspired by the Castro District’s culture and human rights movement in a form of a seed. This art piece is an homage to those seeds– “wishes” that have found their place in the world. Aphidoidea is composed of four main members, Paulina Bouyer-Magan, Jesus(Eddie) Magaña, Andrew Hernandez, and Jacqueline Muñoz. The four are formally trained architects, and, since 2008, has been engaged in a variety of Continue Reading

Solar Totems

 Posted by on January 22, 2018
Jan 222018
 
Solar Totems

Glen Park Canyon Rec Center This unique installation is by Charles Sowers. Three reclaimed redwoods receive the “writing” of the sun as its rays are focused by a spherical lens to lightly burn into the wood.  As the sun moves across the sky, the burn becomes a line; preserving a record of sunshine periodically broken by fog or cloudy skies.  The lens is advanced a small distance each day to create a distinct daily line.  After one year the heliograph mechanism is transferred to the next log.  In this way, a work is completed on site and becomes a sculptural Continue Reading

88 Slag Buddhas

 Posted by on January 19, 2018
Jan 192018
 
88 Slag Buddhas

The 88 Buddha statuettes are a reference to the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. They are made of slag that was illegally dumped on neighborhing Teshima Island, which is also part of their story. From 1978 to 1990,  Teshima Island was used as a dump site for paper making residue, sadly they were actually dumping highly toxic waste as well. Due to a corrupt prefecture government and the fact that the island was remote and sparsely populated, it took until the year 2000 for the people of the island to receive a resolution. The Prefecture of Kagawa admitted that Continue Reading

Pumpkins on Naoshima

 Posted by on January 19, 2018
Jan 192018
 
Pumpkins on Naoshima

  This pumpkin sits on a pier on the island of Naoshima.  The first art project for the Benesse art site was Open Air ’94 Out of Bounds, organized as an outdoor exhibition space in 1994. Out of Bounds referred to the crossing of borders in hope that Naoshima be linked to the rest of the world.  Pumpkin (the yellow one) by Yayoi Kusama made its debut in this exhibition. Yayoi Kusama (1929-) is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation but is also active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. During the Continue Reading

Treasure Island Artwork Spread Far and Wide

 Posted by on September 12, 2017
Sep 122017
 
Treasure Island Artwork Spread Far and Wide

  Sometimes you are given an opportunity to peek behind the scenes and today I had just one of those magical moments.  Anne Schnoebelen, the passionate author of the website TreasureIsland1939.com asked me to come see the Pacific Fountain and bring along my friend Deborah Blake of Sullivan Masonry, to see about the restoration of the fountain. The fountain has quite a fabulous history.  It was part of The Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE) a World’s Fair held on Treasure Island. The fair, celebrated, among other things, the city’s two newly built bridges. The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge which opened in 1936 Continue Reading

Frank Stella at 222 2nd

 Posted by on September 9, 2017
Sep 092017
 
Frank Stella at 222 2nd

222 Second Street Frank Stella was born in 1936 in Malden, Massachusetts. He studied painting at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and at Princeton University. After graduating, he moved to New York and began his career with his renowned series, Black Paintings. These two pieces by Stella are titled “Riallaro”; a 1997, pixel painting. “The Pequod Meets the Delight”; a 1992, pixel painting,  purchased for $1million. This area is a Privately Owned Public Open Space in San Francisco.  Open to the public for enjoyment during business hours.

Glass Goddesses

 Posted by on September 9, 2017
Sep 092017
 
Glass Goddesses

Trinity Plaza Market at 8th April 2017 Trinity Plaza falls under the 1% for Art program.  Although the project began construction several years ago, the public space areas are not yet complete.  The concept for the public space  (titled “C’era Una Volta” – Once Upon a Time) was developed by artist Lawrence Argent. The overall composition of the open space is comprised of glass and marble sculptures, a stone wall and assemblage of blocks evocative of a quarry, and several scattered marble blocks with partially carved sculptures that appear to emerge from the stone. Two of these glass sculptures can Continue Reading

Nature of Medicine

 Posted by on September 9, 2017
Sep 092017
 
Nature of Medicine

San Francisco General Hospital 1001 Potrero Avenue Potrero Hill Main Lobby of the New Wing When you enter the lobby of the new wing you are overwhelmed by color.  The two glass mosaics and the terrazzo floor are all done by Oakland artist, Rupert Garcia, done in 2015 they are titled Nature of Medicine. The floor art piece measures 88 feet by 52 feet. The mosaic mural above the reception desk is 190 inches by 359-1/2 inches and the mural above the stairs measures 252-7/8 inches by 305 inches Rupert García, born in French Camp, California, is a Chicano artist who works in Continue Reading

Archipelago

 Posted by on August 11, 2017
Aug 112017
 
Archipelago

San Francisco General Hospital 1001 Potrero Avenue Potrero Hill Titled Archipelago this piece is based on the concept of a river as a metaphor for life.  It was created by Anna Valentina Murch and sits in the plaza connecting the old and new buildings of the hospital complex. An important feature of the installation is a 6’-tall oval-shaped stainless steel banded sculpture, which is internally illuminated at night to serve as a symbolic beacon. Additionally, a series of basket-like, stainless steel banded sculptural seating elements surround planters and companion carved granite benches. Murch was born in Scotland and grew up in Continue Reading

Breath Between Sky and Ocean

 Posted by on August 9, 2017
Aug 092017
 
Breath Between Sky and Ocean

San Francisco General Hospital 1001 Potrero Avenue Potrero Hill Roof Garden of the Acute Care Building 7th Floor Breath Between Sky and Ocean by Masayuki Nagase was created in 2015 and consists of two hand-carved granite boulders (4 ft. by 4 ft. by 4 ft.), five polished and carved granite benches (5 ft. by 6 ft. by 18 in. each) and eight polished and carved pavers. The artist’s design depicts a series of ripples carved into the boulders to express themes of water and wind, and the design on the stone pavers has polished surfaces and carved cloud-like forms. Masayuki Continue Reading

River of Time

 Posted by on August 8, 2017
Aug 082017
 
River of Time

San Francisco General Hospital 1001 Potrero Avenue Potrero Hill Acute Care Building 7th Floor This piece, titled River of Time, is in three pieces.  The above piece is at the end of a short hallway on the 7th floor. The other two, however, are behind locked doors.  I was able to snap a photo of the others when the doors were opened by a staff member. River of Time consists of a curved glass wall 98-2/8 inches by 97-3/8 inches and the two glass light-well walls in a corridor that measure 93-5/8 inches by 246 inches. All are stained glass Continue Reading

Pylon

 Posted by on August 8, 2017
Aug 082017
 
Pylon

Philip A. Hart Civic Center Plaza Jefferson and Woodward Avenues Detroit, Michigan 120 feet tall by 7 feet square The Pylon is the terminus for Detroit’s main street, Woodward Avenue. Created by Isamu Noguchi, the monumental work is of joined steel sections.   The rectangular pylon makes a quarter turn as it heads upwards to the sky. Isamu Noguchi (November 17, 1904 – December 30, 1988) was a Japanese American artist and landscape architect whose artistic career spanned six decades, from the 1920s onward. Known for his sculpture and public works, Noguchi also designed stage sets for various Martha Graham Continue Reading

Belle Isle

 Posted by on August 4, 2017
Aug 042017
 
Belle Isle

Belle Isle Detroit, Michigan Belle Isle is a 982-acre island park in the Detroit River, between the United States mainland and Canada. Belle Isle is the largest city-owned island park in the United States and is the third largest island in the Detroit River. It is connected to mainland Detroit by the MacArthur Bridge. One interesting story told about the island is part of Motor City history. It is said that one night in 1908 Byron Carter of Cartercar stopped to help a stranded motorist on Belle Isle. When he cranked her Cadillac, it kicked back and broke his jaw. Continue Reading

FLW in Detroit

 Posted by on August 3, 2017
Aug 032017
 
FLW in Detroit

The Melvyn Maxwell Smith and Sara Stein Smith House Bloomfield, Michigan The Melvyn Maxwell Smith and Sara Stein Smith House also known as My Haven is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed Usonian home that was built by the owner/occupants in 1949 and 1950. The Smiths were two public school teachers living on a tight budget, to realize their dream they scrimped and scraped in ways most people would never consider, but the reward is this wonderful gem. It is said that Mr. Smith, upon seeing a photo of Falling Water for the first time while studying to become a teacher, Continue Reading

Detroit’s Guardian Building

 Posted by on August 2, 2017
Aug 022017
 
Detroit's Guardian Building

500 Griswold Street Detroit, Michigan There has been so very, very much written about the Guardian Building of Detroit, that my writing here is simply for me to remember this stunning building and that I had the pleasure of walking into it and staring. Built for the Union Trust Company the building is 486 feet tall with 40 floors and was the second tallest building in Detroit and the world’s tallest brick building when it opened in 1929. Designed by Wirt Rowland of  Smith, Hichman, and Grylls it came in at a cost of $12million. The tangerine colored “Guardian Brick” Continue Reading

Detroit’s Renaissance

 Posted by on August 1, 2017
Aug 012017
 
Detroit's Renaissance

The Book Building at 1249 Washington Blvd, Downtown Detroit So much has been written about Detroit’s decline, and yet so little has been written about its renaissance.  Yes, the outlying areas have a long way to go, but the new construction and renovations happening in the downtown area are staggering.  This post by no means covers the enormous amount of renovation occurring, these are just a few of this author’s favorite buildings. The Book Building, designed by Louis Kamper for the Book brothers, was built in 1917, the tower was added in 1926. There was considerable criticism about the building Continue Reading

Heidelberg Project

 Posted by on July 31, 2017
Jul 312017
 
Heidelberg Project

3600 Heidelberg St McDougall Hunt Neighborhood Detroit, Michigan Just 15 minutes away from the African Bead Museum is the Heidelberg Project.  I went anticipating a fabulous folk art installation due to all the hype, disappointing is the kindest word I can use. That being said, the motivation behind the project and the heart poured into it, should not ever be dismissed. There are three over riding themes to the Heidelberg project: clocks, faces, and shoes.  The clocks are to remind you that it is never too late to act.  You may think you do not have the time, or it Continue Reading

African Bead Museum

 Posted by on July 25, 2017
Jul 252017
 
African Bead Museum

Dabls’ MBAD African Bead Museum 6559 Grand River Avenue Detroit, Michigan * I had the absolute privilege to speak with Olayami Dabls, the creator of Dabls’ African Bead Museum (pictured above), and he told me some of his story.  He began this project during the Clean Up Detroit program, a project to help clear all of the empty lots of the trash and building parts left after many homes were bulldozed. He repeated often, how he was surprised the city had not shut him down and how happy he was to just keep doing what he was doing.  He did point Continue Reading

Pewabic Pottery

 Posted by on July 24, 2017
Jul 242017
 
Pewabic Pottery

1025 Jefferson Avenue Detroit, Michigan   Pewabic Pottery is a ceramic studio and school founded in 1903 by artist Mary Chase Perry Stratton and Horace James Caulkins. Caulkins was considered a high-heat and kiln specialist, and developed the “Revelation kiln”.  Caulkins invented the kiln to help with his dental supply business, he then sold his kilns to other dentists so they could fire enamel for their patients. Mary Perry Stratton was “the artistic and marketing force. Mary Stratton established the ceramics department at the University of Michigan and taught there. She also taught at Wayne State University. In 1947, she Continue Reading

The Saarinen House

 Posted by on July 23, 2017
Jul 232017
 
The Saarinen House

Academy Way Cranbrook Bloomfield Hills, Michigan A tour of the Saarinen house is an amazing look into the perfectionism of Eliel Saarinen and his design beliefs and senses.  The house combines  Arts and Craft movement ideas with Art Deco elements for a stunning and harmonious work of art. * The home was built concurrently with sculptor Carl Milles next door for a cost $140,000 for the two.  The typical cost of a home at that time in Detroit was $6250. The home was completely restored in 1994, after having been changed by subsequent owners from 1950 to the 1990s. The Continue Reading

The Spirit of Detroit

 Posted by on July 21, 2017
Jul 212017
 
The Spirit of Detroit

2 Woodward Avenue Detroit, Michigan This stunning sculpture is the best-known piece of public art in Detroit.  It’s location and presentation was well thought out. The backdrop was designed by the architectural firm of Harley, Ellington and Day, also responsible for the Veterans Memorial Building in Detroit. The sculpture itself is by Detroit area sculptor Marshall Fredericks. Commissioned in 1955 for $58,000, the sculpture was dedicated in 1958. The seated figure represents the spirit of humanity. In his left hand, he holds a gilt bronze sphere, with emanating rays, symbolizing God, in his right hand he holds a group of Continue Reading

Ringold Alley’s Leather Memoir

 Posted by on July 17, 2017
Jul 172017
 
Ringold Alley's Leather Memoir

Ringold Alley Between 8th and 9th Streets Harrison and Folsom SOMA Prior to the AIDS crisis, Ringold alley served as one of the go-to places for gay men to rendezvous after the numerous gay bars along Folsom Street (the “Miracle Mile”) closed for the night. Until the 1990s, Ringold Street continued to play a major role in San Francisco’s leather and gay SOMA scenes. Leather Memoir is a project to honor the history of this area. “Leather Memoir” consists of several custom fabricated features.  A black granite marker stone mounted at 9th and Ringold features an etched narrative, which includes a Continue Reading

Ethereal Bodies

 Posted by on July 15, 2017
Jul 152017
 
Ethereal Bodies

San Francisco General Hospital 1001 Potrero Avenue Potrero Hill Parking entry on 22nd Street Titled Ethereal Bodies, this piece, done in 2015, is by Cliff Garten. It consists of nine undulating stainless steel sculptures lit by multicolored LED lights. The installation’s stainless steel rods range in height from 14 to 22 feet tall. The surface of each is finely worked to achieve the most interesting interaction with sunlight and the LED lights at night. Garten received a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Landscape Architecture with Distinction from the Continue Reading

Healing Hearts

 Posted by on July 15, 2017
Jul 152017
 
Healing Hearts

San Francisco General Hospital 1001 Potrero Avenue Potrero Hill The pieces were all created by sculptor Tom Otterness who was born 1952 in Wichita, Kansas. He is a prolific public art sculptor who has been creating whimsical satirical pieces since the 1970s. * Otterness employs the “lost wax” process to cast his bronze figures, which range from monumental to palm-sized. About his sculptures, the artist says, “I try to make work that speaks a common language that people understand, a visual language that doesn’t intimidate them.” * The sculptures are part of the San Francisco Art Commission Collection and cost $700,000.  Otterness Continue Reading

Moscone Park

 Posted by on July 11, 2017
Jul 112017
 
Moscone Park

Moscone Park 1800 Chestnut Street Marina District This Leatherback Sea Turtle and the Pink Short Spined Starfish in the playground of Moscone Park were gifts to the San Francisco Arts Commission from the Friends of Moscone Park These bronze sculptures were the work of Jonathan Roberson Beery. Jonathan Beery is a California native and studied at the California State University in Long Beach. The tiled seating was also a gift of Friends of Moscone Park and was a joint project between the artist and children of the neighborhood.  The bench cost approximately $9500. *

Birds in the Mission

 Posted by on July 8, 2017
Jul 082017
 
Birds in the Mission

In Chan Kaajal Park 17th and Folsom Mission District There are two California birds represented in this Mission district park.  They are painted water-jet cut steel panels created by Carmen Lomas Garza. San Francisco-based artist was born in 1948 in Kingsville, Texas. She attended Texas Arts and Industry University (now Texas A&M) and received a BS in art education.  She also holds a Master of Education and a Master of Arts degree. She is well known for her paintings, ofrendas and for her papel picado work inspired by her Mexican-American heritage. Her work is a part of the permanent collections of the Continue Reading

Esmeralda Slide Park

 Posted by on April 29, 2017
Apr 292017
 
Esmeralda Slide Park

Winfeld and Esmeralda Bernal Heights April 2017 In the 1970s a group of volunteers, with some help from the city, conceived and created Esmeralda Slide Park.  That volunteer organization later became the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. A New York Times article published in 2010 noted that “At the park’s dedication party in 1979, a shrieking Mayor Dianne Feinstein slid down her chute, racing and defeating the district supervisor, Lee Dolson. Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. enjoyed the plunge at a rededication in 1998, wearing a three-piece suit and a fedora. Tom Ammiano, the District 13 assemblyman and a nearby resident, has also enjoyed Continue Reading

Civil Rights Monument

 Posted by on March 31, 2017
Mar 312017
 
Civil Rights Monument

Capitol Park Richmond, VA March 2017 The Virginia Civil Rights Memorial sits on the grounds of Capitol Square in Richmond VA and commemorates the protests which helped bring about school desegregation in the state. Unveiled in 2008 this $2.8 memorial was designed by Stanley Bleifield. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: “A Commonwealth once synonymous with defiance of court-ordered school integration celebrated the latest symbol of its often-difficult embrace of equality with the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial in 2008. It represents a key moment in the history of the civil-rights movement in Virginia. The statue spotlights the African-American students in rural Prince Continue Reading