Monday, June 22, 2009

Trashing Art?

How can anyone trash art? Literally. I received a sad e-mail from the Curator of Public Art this morning. It seems the "Ravenvane" I created a few years ago was vandalized. The piece was created for the top of a pavilion that is in Oberg Soccer Fields and Park near Chugiak, Alaska as part of a percent for public art work. Truthfully, several of us expected the bird to be shot at before anyone would climb up on top of the pavilion and tear the art from the hinges! We used commercial, heavy duty hardware and tried our best to theft-proof the work. Even several neighbors have been diligent at keeping watch over the work the last couple of years, but vandals struck. When I saw the digital image of the piece in the trash can it made me sad, and even sadder to see that the criminals beat the hand made copper top against something. The directional "S" is missing, but all else is still in place. It's actually hard to believe the idiots, didn't just take it but instead, stuffed it in the park's garbage can.  The wintertime image is of the "Ravenvane" when it was installed B.C. (before the crime - before it's beatdown!). The procedure for such events I learned, is to have the artist give a repair estimate and we will try to fix the artwork -but it may or may not be replaced back atop the pavilion...

On a much lighter and happier note, I'm a basketful of art supplies richer!
The large, "Sandhill Crane" won the People's Choice Award at the Garden Fair this weekend! yippee! The votes for People's Choice were as follows:
1. "Sandhill Crane" by me
2. "Garden Mermaid" also by me 
3. "Bird Sanctuary" (a lovely fused glass and forged steel birdbath) by Laura Mendola
4. "Chenik Fox" (a popular, raku, paperclay Fox sculpture -she also made the Hare "Miss Coquette") by Gina Hollomon
5. "Spring Bloom" (also a beautiful, fused glass and forged steel birdbath) by Laura Mendola

Here are links to some of the Garden Fair press: Fran Durner covered us in her ADN Blog "Talk Dirt To Me" and here is the KTUU Channel 2 
News link on the Alaska Botanical Garden Art Show set up. The Art Show was a success and the ABG Garden Fair volunteers and committee were happy with the record attendance. Now that the volunteer work is over, I'm happily back at work welding today gearing up for this Saturday's G Street Art Fair "From Studio to Street" in downtown Anchorage where I signed up to have a booth...more to come. The hubby returned with the offspring from fishing and threw some steaks and veggies on the grill -mmmm! He's poured me a nice cold beverage and dinner is ready, life is good.


Patricia Griffin said...

so sorry about the "Ravenvane"... but happy to hear the good news that your work won the People's Choice Award. Rich in art supplies!

Linda Starr said...

Congratulations on winning the people's choice award! So terrible someone has destroyed art, nothing better to do I guess. Some time ago I went to the library in the next city and there was a sculpture outside the entrance and a sign asking folks not to deface it. At the time I was saddened that a special sign had to be made asking folks not to deface public property, let alone art.

cindy shake said...

Hi Patricia, thanks for the post. I do feel rich when I have plenty of art supplies!

Hi Linda- Hope you are feeling better?! Yes, it always surprises me when vandalism occurs, I think, let me show the "person" how much time and pleasure goes into a work like that. The criminal has probably never been exposed to much art or other things of beauty.


Cindy, it made me physically sick to see your beautiful sculpture vandalized and in the trash! Kudos to you for such an incredible, perseverant attitude in the face of that type of destruction. Many would have handled it very negatively. Congrats on the people's choice award - what an amazing honor! Julia

cindy shake said...

hi Julia, thanks for the post and positive words. Yes, I feel sorry for the individual(s) that felt it necessary to vandalize the art...I cannot begin to understand the psychology behind such a dreadful act only that they must be extremely ignorant, angry, devoid of humanity and morality or all of such important life stuff... A child under the age of 8 surely didn't climb up top and have the strength to not only tear it down but to wield it -it's over 4' tall! So these were surely troubled individuals and I believe in Karma :o)

ang said...

oh well done on the pca. looks like it would have been a v. rewarding wkd after all that curating, nice job!

cookingwithgas said...

I always think there are more of "them' then there are of "us"- it does make you sad and angry.
When the new art teacher at the high school was brought in he started putting art up all over the school. The kids would break a piece and he would repair it and put it back- they would break he would repair- they would break and he would repair.
One day they stopped.
He said he knew they would --- he taught me something that day.
Keep making art- don't let the "bad "ones ruin it for the rest of us.
Chin up and relish your wins.

cindy shake said...

Thanks Ang :o)

You are so right Meredith! That was a VERY wise and patient Art Teacher! Fortunately, vandalism happens very rarely (I'm knocking on my wood dining table as I type) in Anchorage -especially to artworks. I have the right perspective about the vandalism, I thought it would have happened sooner but I do feel bad for the person(s) who can "shut-off" like that when they commit a crime, because sadly this probably won't be the last crime they commit...

judy coates perez said...

its really awful when you see art vandalized. You wonder what is going through their minds that they could feel such a disconect to the human hands that created it.

20 years ago i designed a large metal food court sign for a mall in Chula Vista CA, that was inspired by old fruit box labels. It was such a fun project to work on. On the sign there was a rooster and a fish that was jumping through a piece of plexiglass on the sides. Evidently those animals were just too irresistible and were stolen from the sign, leading to it's removal.