Community Invited to Put Finishing Touches on Piece
The City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, the Santa Fe Public Library, and New Mexico Arts, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, invite the public to celebrate the completion of a new public art work at the Southside Branch Library by assisting the artist in completing the piece. “Woven Olla” by Minneapolis-based public artist Randy Walker is an eight-foot diameter olla, or Native American water-carrying pot, woven with brilliant strands of fiber that will hang in the exterior entry of the library.
On Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 2:00 PM in the Community Room of the Library, Walker will share his vision for the piece. Laguna Pueblo potter Max Early will then discuss the history of Native American pottery, followed by a proclamation by Mayor David Coss. Community members are then invited to assist the artist in weaving the final strands of the olla. A reception will follow. The event is free and open to the public.
In 2008, the Arts Commission, in collaboration with the Library and New Mexico Arts, commissioned Walker to create the three-dimensional, suspended steel and fiber artwork to hang under the main exterior entry canopy of the Southside Branch Library. The sculpture references a traditional Pueblo water jar, or olla, and reinterprets it on a scale appropriate to the community and the Library. “Woven Olla” is a unifying form that marks the entry as a gathering place. The piece is an analogy for the Library as a container of knowledge, a resource no less precious than water.
“The installation of this symbolic olla at the Southside Branch Library is so exciting. The piece glows and creates the perfect welcoming beacon for the community,” stated Patricia Hodapp, Director of Libraries.
Walker is a public artist with pieces in public and private collections around the country. His résumé also includes gallery and exhibition work. Fiber is his primary media. He explores wrapped and woven three-dimensional space. He seeks out or constructs frameworks that act as looms. These frameworks can be found in objects like saw blades or window screens, or they can be architectural spaces. Each armature eventually defines the working method for a particular piece.
“My work straddles precariously on several boundaries: solidity and transparency, structural stability and collapse, visibility and invisibility,” stated Walker. “I strive to create work that primarily engages our sense of sight by contemplating how light can define structure, surface, and color.”
Funding for “Woven Olla” was provided by the City of Santa Fe’s Art in Public Places program as well as New Mexico Arts’ 1% for Public Art. The public art collection at the Southside Branch Library is built around the theme of “Word Flow,” which likens the power of water to the power of knowledge in building community. It includes works from local and national artists.
This vibrant sculpture will be mounted in the outside entryway above the north doors. The Art Committee for the Southside Branch Library selected the artist and approved his suggested art piece.