In the Redwood City Courthouse Square, a new art installation has been established. Through a new program named Art Kisoki, Redwood City has partnered with different artists, both local and global, to incorporate modern issues into contemporary art pieces.
The exhibition opened on Mar. 9 and will run for ten months. With the help of the Redwood City Improvement Association and Fung Collaboratives, the funding for this project was quickly collected to begin the cycle of art pieces.
Different artists from all walks of life research topics they find interesting before creating modern works of art that are displayed on the side of the square.
Every ten months or so, a new exhibition is put in place to give the locals a change and to bring attention to different up and coming artists.
From March to April, Kate Dodd’s “Incubator” captures the importance of books on shaping peoples’ voices, opinions, and creativity.
Encased by a nearly see-through building, the piece is created using about 2,000 books stuck on top of one another, reaching from the floor to the ceiling. The imaginative creation draws attention from those nearby, who are used to the empty building residing by the city square.
“I was just getting some tea and spotted this building full of books,” said Kristin Martin, an onlooker from a nearby table. “I was going to drink my tea in the cafe but this is a much prettier view. It brings unexpected color to this area that I really enjoy.”
Not only does the installation bring awareness to the importance of books, but it also has an underlying message about empowering women.
“Looking at this installation definitely gets you thinking about the message behind it. Simply looking at it, I would never be able to guess the number of layers and details these books hide from the viewers,” said James Lein, another onlooker. “Finding out that this piece also supports the empowerment of women just makes it so much stronger in my opinion.”
The base of the towers consists of books that celebrate women’s roles in both fiction and non-fiction. The very foundation, which holds the entire exhibit together, celebrates women while subtly yet powerfully bringing attention to the motivations behind the author’s decision to create a piece like this.
According to Dodd, the books grow in size and amount as the towers get higher, representing the ever growing knowledge that one can obtain from immersing themselves in books.
The towers of books are surrounded by hand-cut strips of texts to show the streamline of knowledge from other people’s published opinions and the connections they can create. The artist wanted viewers to understand the complicated web of education from books and how it all ties together to influence one’s mind.
“I can tell that this piece is deep,” said Isabella Gernie, a local. “I had to read the explanation provided next to the building to understand it but just looking at how it was built and put together, I could tell a lot of thought and effort was put into it. Now, knowing the meanings behind it, it makes it more powerful. I love that there’s this inspirational, colorful art in such a public place. I hope it can inspire someone or at least get attention for the creativity.”
“Incubator” is already the third exhibition that has been put up in the once empty building. The attention it has gotten has been mostly positive, just like the previous two works by Erin Ashford and Nora and Eliza Noranjo-Morse.
“I loved this! I love that the city keeps coming up with new creative ways to engage the community and make it a more vibrant place. My one complaint is the publicity on these events. I wish more people would come to see it, it’s quite amazing. I just don’t think they know where to look to find information on new city events,” said Joe Kert, a resident.
All are welcome to explore the new exhibitions that are created for all ages and for the public to enjoy with no expense.
Many are encouraged to swing by to view the “Incubator” any time they happen to be in Redwood City.
For those who tend to be busy, there’s no rush because of the ten-month long periods which are then followed by new art pieces. The next artist to be featured is Katharine Umsted, and with the positive reactions to this project so far, residents of the city say they only expect great things.