Redwood City Improvement Association Invests in Art Kiosk Installation in Downtown’s Courthouse Square
-RCIA has partnered with Fung Collaboratives to create an artistic place for local artists to display their work in the community for all to enjoy-
The Art Kiosk aims to bring thought-provoking Installation Art to Redwood City, CA and the Bay Area through ten, month-long exhibitions, throughout 2019. Artists from the region and around the world have been invited to realize their ambitious site-specific commissions – often with the assistance of local volunteers, artists and vendors. Each artist has researched the City and its history and people to conceive their new temporary installation so that each exhibition is meaningful and relevant to the viewers. The initiative was conceived and curated by Lance Fung. Donated project management of the exhibition series is provided by Fung Collaboratives.
The Redwood City Improvement Association funded the initiative for 2019 through their generous grant program. Redwood City acts as the logistical partner and it’s Civic Cultural Commission awarded the project a seed grant to support collateral educational projects for participating artists in Redwood City.
For more information, schedule of upcoming exhibitions, artist talks, and all other events please visit www.fungcollaboratives.org.
Curated by Lance M. Fung
October 12 - November 10, 2019
Free public opening reception: Saturday, October 12, at 4pm
About the installation
In Voice Crossing, archival films of holiday parades, marching bands, square dances, and family celebrations from throughout the Bay Area are projected through an array of rotating mirrors, creating a kaleidoscope of overlapping images. From the walls of the exhibition space comes the faint murmur of dozens of oral history recordings—personal stories of immigration and internment camps, migrant workers and lawyers, the birth of Silicon Valley, the gay rights movement, the music and art scenes of the Bay area, and more. The images shift, dance, and blur; the voices obscure one another and fade into white noise. Together, sound and image evoke the complex ways in which memory and history dissolve into one another, as the life of a community emerges from the individual lives of those who have come before. Voice Crossing invites its audience to reflect on their own continuity with that past, to contemplate the relationship between the personal and the communal, and to interrogate the shared stories, rituals, and memories that bring them together.
About the Artist
Joseph Clayton Mills is an artist, composer, and performer working at the intersection of language, composition, and archival practice. His text-based paintings, assemblages, and sound installations have been exhibited in the United States and Europe, including at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, the Lincoln Park Conservatory, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and his work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker. A former Chicagoan, he remains an active participant in the improvised and experimental music community there, where his collaborators have included Adam Sonderberg and Steven Hess (as Haptic), Michael Pisaro, and Olivia Block, among many others. His recordings have appeared on numerous labels, including Another Timbre, FSS, and Entr’acte, and in 2013 in he launched Suppedaneum, a label focused on releasing scores and their realizations. He has received commissions and grants from the Chicago Film Archive, Black Cinema House (Rebuild Foundation), the Illinois Arts Council, the Experimental Sound Studio, and, in 2016, was artist in residence at the Sonic Arts Research Unit at Oxford Brookes University, UK.
Curated by Lance M. Fung
September 7-October 6, 2019
About the installation
The Dream by Redwood City artist Fernando Escartiz utilizes a childhood fascination of the Mexican folk art tradition - Alebrijes. Traditionally, the paper mache or carved wooden animal figurines are highly decorated with detailed and colorful surface painting. They have become a form of symbolic art from Mexico and represents imagination or fantasy. Although Escartiz is a skilled multi media visual artist, he wanted to share this part of his Mexican culture in the Art Kiosk in hopes of not only educating viewers about the alebrijes global phenomenon but to put forth a visual narrative containing multiple messages. Issues of environmental crisis, power, subjugation, and fear are palpable along side topics of current local, national and global current events. The happy shrouding of playful animals is the perfect guise to pull viewers in through color and beauty all the while to ask them to experience and contemplate the world we live in.
“For my installation, I have drawn my dreams. I think this is another way of connecting our collective unconscious through art. Carl Jung saw dreams as expressions of the unconscious. Pedro Linares was able to link those together to create works of art. I am presenting my own alebrijes inspired by my dreams so the tradition continues”. Fernando Escartiz
This effulgent exhibition not only fills the interior of the Art Kiosk with 2 suspended sculptures, 1 large free standing sculpture and a floor painting but is the first exhibition to physically go beyond the structure. A massive alebrijes will sit upon the entire Art Kiosk building and cascade down and through some of the exhibition space windows.
History of Alebrijes
Pedro Linares (1906-1992), a renowned indigenous Mexican artist, first created vividly colorful paper maché sculptures called alebrijes. The inspiration for Linares’ sculptures has an origin as outlandish and fanciful as the figures themselves. As the story goes, Linares became very ill when he was 30 years old. Not having access to medical attention, he lay in bed and lost consciousness. Linares dreamt of a bizarre, peaceful place that resembled a forest. He recounted seeing giant rocks, tall trees, and an expansive sky. The artist felt remarkably healthy again. His physical pain was gone and he felt happy as he walked along trails through the dense foliage of his dream world.
Suddenly, the clouds, rocks, and trees began to transform. Everything around him reshaped into animals that were familiar and yet like nothing Linares had ever seen before. There were mules with dragonfly wings, roosters with antlers, creatures that resembled gryphons and dragons, just to name a few. They had unnatural colors and patterns swirling over their bodies. These creatures began repeatedly chanting a single word: alebrije…alebrije…alebrije! Linares became fearful of these strange, powerful creatures chanting this nonsensical word. He couldn’t tell if they were warning or threatening him. However, it was enough to startle him awake in time for his fever to subside. (NPS 2017).
Alebrijes, especially the monsters, have gained a reputation for “scaring away bad spirits” and protecting the home. There is a certain mysticism involved in the making and owning of alebrijes with parts of certain animals representing human characteristics.
About the Artist
Born in Mexico City, Fernando Escartiz began his passion for arts in his early childhood and has never stopped. In 2000 Fernando became an assistant of Enrique Miralda, one of the most renowned sculptors in Mexico. Although Escartiz grew up as a self–taught artist, Miralda taught him new and complex sculpting techniques that Fernando added to his own style. Escartiz was also strongly influenced by recognized Mexican sculptor, Fernando Pereznieto, a good friend who past away in 2000.
Escartiz's inspiration comes often from his obsessions of traveling as well as his profound observation of the world that surrounds him. The artist says that traveling presents the wonderful possibilities of encountering new textures, colors, forms and feelings, and elements that later blend to give life to his sculptures or paintings.
Escartiz's first large-scale commission came when the San Francisco Symphony Hall asked him to build an arch over their main stairway to welcome their audience for the Day of the Dead Community Concert in 2010. Since then, he has completed many commissioned projects including a large 14-feet tall skeleton that was exhibited at the Oakland Museum in 2017.
In addition, his sculptures have been displayed at large public events such as the Lunar Year Festival and the Annual Day of the Dead events in downtown Redwood City. These successful happenings attract over 10,000 spectators per festival. Escartiz shares his time between his two residences in Redwood City and Mexico City. He is a full time artist as well as the artistic director for Casa Circulo Cultural Productions.
Casa Circulo Cultural and the Redwood City Public Library is holding it's first Short Story Contest for Hispanic Heritage Month. For more info, click here.
- Children of San Mateo County between the ages of 6 and 14
- The length of the story should be 1 to 3 pages including illustrations, if desired.
- The main characters of the story need to be The Alebrijes of the art installation created by sculptor Fernando Escartiz, sponsored by Fung Collaboratives and Redwood City Improvement Association, which will be on display from September 7th to October 6th, 2019 in the Art Kiosk on Courthouse Square.
- The title or theme of the story needs to be The Dream.
- Deadline to turn in the story is October 21st by 5:00 PM.
- All stories must be submitted to the Redwood City Library in an envelope with the contestant's full name, age, parent(s) name and phone number.
Certificates of participation will be given to all contestants.
First place will be awarded to the following two categories: Children ages 6 to 10 years old AND Children ages 11 to 14 years old
The two prized winners will receive the following: An original Alebrije sculpted by Fernando Escartiz and 4 movie tickets
The winners will be announced on Casa Círculo Cultural’s and the Redwood City Public Library’s Facebook pages, as well as a notified by email
Prizes will be awarded on November 3rd at the Day of the Dead celebration in Courthouse Square.