In 2012 I photographed a little bird in a park at DuPont Circle in downtown Washington, DC. I also photographed some interesting groups on a park bench, talking. Inspired by these, I created one of my first art quilts, “Conversations.” Now, images of that textile work are featured on public art in downtown DeLand, Florida.
How did a collaged fabric art quilt become public art?
The Public Art Committee of the Museum of Art, DeLand has been working with the City of DeLand on various ways to bring art to the walking spaces downtown. We already have a wonderful Sculpture walk. This year, artists’ works have been added as digitally printed vinyl wraps to the large utility boxes throughout downtown. The project required lots of collaboration: coordination with the City, the Department of Transportation and the electric company. And there was also a volunteer-led call to artists, a selection committee of local citizens, and work with the professional sign company that printed and installed the wraps.
The result is amazing. I especially like the fit between the subject matter of “Conversations” and its location in a park with benches, where people (and maybe little birds!) sit and converse. As you walk by the artwork, the details of the painted textures and the sewn stitches are clearly visible. I was fortunate to have work selected for four locations. I submitted textile artwork for each, and the details and stitching are very clear on all of them. Such an interesting effect! Walking by, the work looks like stitched, textured fabric. But it’s actually, smooth vinyl.
Already, the utility boxes are showing up in photos people take of downtown. They are being shared and enjoyed. Art makes city life better!