Chabot College to display Natalie Blake Studios Artwork
Natalie Blake Studios was recently awarded a public art grant from Chabot College in Hayward, CA. Using this grant funding, Natalie Blake Studios will produce and install ceramic wall tiles and other artwork for 5 locations on the Chabot College campus. The studio’s proposal was chosen from a pool of 622 applicants. The selection process involved over 500 students and campus staff.
We will post updates on this project in upcoming months. Stay tuned for more on this exciting project!
According to the statement of values for the college’s public art project:
Cynthia Parker-Houghton, who is working on this project with Natalie, recently finished carving the first tile mural for the project. This mural will adorn the Chavez Plaza at the college. This image shows the mural, unglazed:
Here’s what Cynthia says about this piece: “Making the tree in four sections: roots, trunk, branches and leaves was a meditation on the different qualities of the different parts of the tree. The lines of the roots reach downwards grounding the tree but the same lines indicate a flow of water and nutrients upwards into the trunk and leaves. Even the flow of air surrounding the tree seems energized by the carve marks responding to the shapes I am carving around. If you look closer you can see that all the shapes are repeated within the roots, the bark, the branches, the leaves and the air. It’s like a fractal in this way.”
Here’s Cynthia working on the mural. the yellow door in the background leads to the New England School for Circus Arts, just across the hall from Natalie Blake Studios.
Here’s what Cynthia had to say about this mural:
“I’m smoothing out the trunk tiles here for a 64-tile tree. The tiles on the table behind me have been slipped with iorn oxide and are ready to carve.
This is the biggest tree we have made yet–it’s huge. I often have to climb a ladder to see what I have carved and make sure it’s all working together but this time I also had to take pictures of the separate sections and put them together on our computer screen so I could see the whole piece. Once I saw the whole piece together it was clear I needed to carve a new set of roots because the original ones were just too small.
We chose glaze colors to reflect the vitality of the tree, to bring that energy to the public plaza where it will be installed. Stay tuned for an image of the glazed piece.