This is a photo of Elizabeth Hamilton and myself sitting on the bus stop bench of Rosa Parks Memorial Transit Center. I chose this image so I could talk about her involvement. She was the ‘wild card’ professor who called Rosa Parks on the phone and invited her to the campus, at her own cost, so many years ago. It is refreshing to see someone who worked around a heavy bureaucracy to do something so wonderful for the community. Do it.
The life sized photo mural with exemplary students is a permanent feature of this project. The students have a rose over their hearts. For the opening event, I had rose buttons made so everyone could wear Rosa on their hearts. If you want a button of your own, send me an e-mail.
Art is special. Yes, but I would like to talk about the different kind of special that happens when art is in public spaces. Somehow, during the planning, it calls attention to itself, not as a way a viewer might gain insight to thoughts or beauty, but rather as a scary thing. Municipalities are afraid of content. They want to be contemporary and have art because they know they are supposed to, but it seems all they want the content to reflect is the word nice. (public artists know that fiery today -topics do not stand in time unless they are working in a temporary venue). Builders and developers are afraid that someone will get hurt. They rarify the art as something unlike the sharpness of the metal corner of an everyday object. If one were to examine an apartment they would see cords, corners, even the solidness of the floor to be potentially lethal to a child, no, those are normal dangerous items (and I agree), but when you put art within grasp, all levels of demise are put upon the art. I have some examples; I once designed a bed that had some surfaces that were powder coated steel, along with fabric bolsters, but the comment I received was “someone could commit suicide by rubbing their wrists on the metal” death by friction, seems unlikely, would they have thought of someone rubbing their wrists on the kitchen table? Next is a shade sculpture I designed that had rocks, it was nixed because someone could climb on it. What can’t be climbed upon? Could not someone climb on their car? Can we ban automobiles because someone might climb on them? Recently I was asked to modify a wall piece because two pieces of wire extended from it in a casual loop, because a child might shimmy up the wall and with some assistance, get their head behind the loop and strangulate. No concern was placed on the curtain blinds cord that are in every room a child is. What would motive a person to become so creative and self destructive when in the presents of art? Art is special.
Los Vecinos Apartments is A LEED Certified complex located at 1501 Broadway (Chula Visat, CA). It has over 200 art elements, some in view for the public and some in each apartment. I made demonstration pieces like two kinetic solar powered sculptures, a cistern that waters a bio fuel plant, and many ways to recycle. There is an educational component for the after school Art Verde program where I wrote the curriculum and made interactive pieces to base young art from. It was created in coordination with Wakeland Development, Carlos Rodriguez Architecture, and Ivy Landscape.
Go to Art Map Page for location
Published July 19, 2007
Article posted by Kevin Freitas
If you’re still reading this and if you’ve only gotten a glimpse of just a fraction of the works Nina Karavasiles (www.ninak.info) has exhibited at Simayspace, there are many more where that came from. All of them and I mean all, are splendid in their plurality and limitless imagination. You would do well to check out her website complete with an audio pronunciation of her first and last name – knee nah care a vasa less.
This of course, is to see not only the breadth and range of work she’s made but the apparent ease and comfort, the dexterity she exhibits in vacillating between public art, site-specific installations, private commissions, the studio, workshops and her design work which includes gardens, kitchens, bathrooms and jewellery.
Karavasiles appears to be the most prolific and versatile artist in this group show creating work that is not only conceptually based but in tune with the site and specifics of each environment she’s working in. She is also sensitive to the public art public needs of the community when she’s been invited to create a sculpture within it, harmoniously integrating all the elements and requirements. Karavasiles work is far too vast to summarize and I am unable to do it justice in a small paragraph.
The work shown at Simayspace was a collage of several public works she produced in collaboration with several architects and landscape artists amidst other designers, in achieving some of her past present and soon to be future projects. Some of these are: the recently installed “A San Diego African American Legacy”, a proposal for the Colfax bridge that spans the LA river, the 70th Street Trolley Station, and “Recipe for Friendship” in San Diego’s Little Italy. Just a few which are in reality, part of a dozen or so other projects she’s successfully completed.
I would hardly consider Karavasiles an emerging artist but could easily see her as the epitome of the Renaissance artist or sculptor for the King and State: a thinker, engineer, inventor, explorer, scientist but most of all a dreamer. View the full article at www.artasauthority.com.
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.