COMM22 -Public Art
Public Art for a new affordable housing-mixed use development and for the city of San Diego. Along the trolley tracks on Commercial at 22nd (hence the complex’s name, COMM22) this community – based project boasts a large mural and a large sculpture.
30 feet long, a double-sided painting by master muralist Mario Chacon along with his assistant Hector Villegas. Titled “Flowers for My Loved Ones”. They mentored students from San Diego Unified School District, who created a number of offshoot images, maintaining the same sentiments. The back plaza has a liveliness and welcome. In fact, many gatherings happen in front of this art.
Out on the front face corner is a large sculpture by the de la Torre brothers (Jamex and Einar), “COMMTRON 2000 “, a 16 foot tall robot. Not just any post ww2 toy robot, but one that is clad in carved stone with a cross between Mayan glyphs and contemporary image. What? So picture this classic Mayan profile of a guy who is watching TV, like that. “COMMTRON 2000” has a backpack, gauges, lights and a feeling of forward, innocent movement. The optimism of that time gone by is back. We collectively reboot. er robott, pardon me.
There are two plaques that read; “Everything good that has happened to me is a direct result of helping others” Danny Trejo, Actor and “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” African Proverb. They are on a wall that complements the student work and then there is something else. There is a keyhole shape cut through the wall. Kids go through it and when they do, their entire dimension changes, they become tiny. Their mothers see it too, by the exuding joy. Okay, so maybe it’s the joy of doing laundry, which is really close by. Mums sit on what looks like tumbled concrete cubes and wait for the tumble to finish. A flash of orange paint flickers through the cluster.
So then there is also the input from me, Nina Karavasiles, who was technically, the arts consultant. Benches and sidewalk plaques. Safe territory, but here I partnered with an off the shelf bench factory to produce this limited edition bench that sports a stainless steel half moon shape that has a special graphic. Sizable round sidewalk pavers set a stage for the bench images. 8 benches, 25 word phrases. A walking poem if that’s acceptable to say, but the cool thing is that everyone got the chance to vote on both the graphics and the word play. A Facebook voting page was established and accepted the curating votes to mold the neighborhood feel.
BRIDGE Housing, MAAC, MVE+ Partners Architect, Cannon Constructors and Hazard Construction. Project Manager Jeff Williams. Ivy Landscape. Art Consultant Nina Karavasiles
Welcome to Nina’s Blog I am quickly classified as a public artist, generally meaning art for the public realm. It is different than a gallery/museum way of thinking. My way of making public art has manifested more traditionally as a site specific sculpture for a fire station. It encompasses some gorilla installations, Some home and environmental designs and most recently many apartment developments. Usually having a theme, like; solar powered, low income, green, educational. Apartment complex art is not interior design. The viewing audience is a hybrid of the general public and private art in a public space. I enjoy the variety.