Making-of Video and Art Talk for “Public Walls and In-Between Spaces” Installation

On June 1st, I hosted an artist talk about my interactive mixed-media installation at the Creative Pinellas Gallery.

As much as the opening reception in May was the highlight of our 2024 Emerging Artist grant cycle, for me the most important single event was the artist talk. It allowed me to speak directly to an (astonishingly large) audience, and highlight all the different elements of the installation, including its social and interactive aspects; and add some background. And I got the chance to hear from the audience their response, thoughts, and feelings – and invite them to “add their mark” to the inside of the installation.

Big THANKS to everyone who came to Creative Pinellas to participate in my artist talk – and to Beth Gelman and Wendy Bryce for facilitating – and to Victoria Jorgensen, Lori Ballard, and Sara Black for recording the talk – and to fellow grant recipients Antonia, Vanessa, and David)

Reading from “Beauty – The Invisible Embrace” by John O’Donahue

I got to frame everything from the perspective of beauty, which is not an elitist luxury. And while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, beauty is necessary for all of us to have a healthy and vibrant society. In that context I got to talk about the beauty we can see in the urban outdoors, e.g., wildflowers, non-commercial street art, and the houseless.

Also, I got to talk about my father, Günter Westphal, and how his social art work and the retrospective art exhibit we put together during my grant cycle strongly influenced my installation.

The view from back here. (All photos from outside the installation courtesy of Sara Black.)

Last but not least, I got to share more about the practical process of choosing the 229 photos, building the wood structure with Scott Solary, creating the wood transfers, and growing the wildflowers.

And to illustrate that, I showed a short behind-the-scenes making-of video for the mixed media installation “Public Walls and In-Between Spaces” – which you can now watch online.

Of course, a complete “making of video” would include the interactive part featuring the audience. This video is just about what I brought to the opening reception… the rest is up to the visitors aka YOU… and you can see some of the results in this artist story: Your Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions Inside In-Between Spaces

Tampa Creative Exchange artists and other friends adding their mark to the installation’s inside after my artist talk at Creative Pinellas Gallery.


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