Saturday, June 23, 2012


I love 1% for Art. I love that people who plan public facilities in Alaska keep this program going. All around the city, sometimes in unlikely places, whether it's on a pathway or a school entrance, an otherwise dull intersection or a bridge, we get to encounter art. Some of the art isn't all that popular; some of it is rarely seen. Some we cycle or drive past without really thinking about it.

The other day Jon told me I needed to see the new artwork that was installed on the grounds of the new state crime lab. He hesitated to describe it; just said I should see it. I forgot all about it until my sister and I were returning from a fine hike at Glen Alps on Thursday. As I was driving she exclaimed wow, look at that! (or something like that). I did a U-turn and we turned onto Tudor Center Drive and into the empty parking lot.

(The groundskeeper was watering nearby so
 I didn't get very close, but got a few photos.)

In the brilliant sunshine on the day after summer solstice, Fragmenta reflected not just light but color: blues and oranges, yellows, greens. It seemed to move as we moved around it, changing color like a shape-shifter. It made me smile and I imagined picnics and the joy that the artwork will bring. I wondered how it would appear in fall, winter and spring. I tried to imagine it at night.

So, I want to thank the artist, Osman Akan, and Alaska for keeping this program of public art going, despite some dissent. Because we need art. It reminds me of a topic from the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference two weeks ago. I recall a speaker who talked about art in our society and our roles as artists, be it writers, painters, musicians or sculptors. Why do we need art? The speaker quoted poet Naomi Shihab Nye, and I'll paraphrase: Why do we need art? Just watch the evening news. To me that means hope.

In my writing group and at the conference in Homer, we talked about why we write. Why does any of us do what we do? With my trail guide, I wanted to give people answers, so in a way it was for my friends and for the rest of the community. Now, I'm working on stories that I think are relevant. I have something to say that I think will have an impact. Call it a gift of stories and ideas. And we all need stories. I'm looking for the story of Fragmenta. Though it is just beginning.

Here's the time lapse video of the installation. See the photos from the artist's site. And here's more about Alaska's art program. Thanks for reading. Enjoy.


Osman Akan said...

Dear bikegirl,

thank you so much for your kind remarks about Fragmenta, and these beautiful shots of it. Please take more of them so I can get a chance to see it over changing weather and light conditions.

my very best regards

Osman Akan

bikegirl said...

I'll definitely take more photos as the seasons change.