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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Low-Water but Lotsa Wow! (Oct. 6, 2012)


Today was the annual Arts Alive festival in Solana Beach and I was delighted that my art was part of it. The festival is a celebration of various art forms. There were live musical performances, choreographed dance pieces, fine artists’ displays and Urban Fence Gardens.

Several months back I read the call for garden-themed creations for Arts Alive and I instantly knew that Duck tape should be involved. I submitted my proposal and sketch and thirteen of us were chosen to design gardens that could be installed on the fences separating the pedestrian walk from the train tracks below.  

Duck tape came onto my radar earlier this year. If you haven’t been inside a craft store lately, Duck tape is strong like duct tape, but much more appealing as it comes in many cheerful colors and patterns. It’s an ideal material for outdoor art and the possibilities are endless.

A few days ago I installed seventeen flowers and eight critters along a twenty-foot section of fence. The flowers range in size from 16” to 6’ tall. Each is different, some being semi-realistic (like my 6’ sunflower) and some being wild creations I made with tape, buttons, feathers, and wooden dowels for sturdy stems. I named mine “Groovy Garden” and if I may say so, it was quite groovy.


One of the things I liked most about the fence gardens is that the thirteen artists all interpreted this proposal so differently. Most artists used color but some did not. Many varied materials were used. Different shapes, textures and patterns made the gardens individual. One artist who made a sign encouraging viewers to recycle created her flowers from repurposed plastic containers (such as Tide detergent bottles), cut open to form oversized petals. Some artists used wood. Some created ceramic pieces, and one woman made long spiral shapes out of screen. Quite a mix.

It feels good to be involved in my adopted home-town. It feels great to have my art on public display, too. My life is mostly about my family these days, but the artist is always in me, and she’s happy for the chance to do something creative that many people can enjoy.

My flowers won’t last forever but for now they are brightening a tiny patch of San Diego. Plus, they are low-water plants (no water, actually!). Bright, cheerful flowers for everyone to see? No water needed? It’s a win-win!

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