2024 Emerging Artist Exhibition – Luci Westphal

Artist Statement

Beauty is not an elitist luxury. -John O’Donohue (Beauty, The Invisible Embrace)

I want to draw your attention to urban outdoor aesthetics – public, accessible, overlooked, dismissed, shunned, weathered, distressed, illegal, provocative, informative, creative, nurtured, ignored, changing, surviving, thriving, loved, undeniable, beautiful.
There are several aspects to this artwork.
Physical: my photographs hand-transferred into the wood of a privacy fence constructed into a shelter with Florida native plants growing outside and someone’s belongings on the inside.
Performance: taking care of the plants I’ve grown from seeds and rescues.
Interactions: discoveries, conversations, and actions sparked by the exhibit and its elements.
Do you see beauty here?
Street artists’ work created or hung at night for free (illegally), turning our streets into public art galleries, message boards and socio-political prompts.
Decaying buildings and signs of human industriousness reverberating with past hope and history.
Animals and wildflowers (weeds?) surviving, even thriving in the margins.
Maybe the most invisible, yet present, element of the urban outdoors so many of our gazes filter out: the unhoused people living in-between, in our shared public spaces.
Past and future:
The photos I took in Germany, Spain, France, Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, New York, Colorado, and St. Pete. Hand-transferring photos to wood and integrating live plants helped me make peace with unpredictability and imperfection. Thus, I’m open to what happens next with the installation. It may sell at this exhibit, or it may turn into temporary public art outdoors where someone might…
Thank you to everyone at Creative Pinellas, my mentor Victoria Jorgensen, and my partner Scott Solary for all the woodworking.

Purchase price: $15,000 (entirety), $4,500 (walls), $1,200 (4-plank panels), $1,800 (6-plank panels). I will donate 25% of profits. If you’d like to donate directly: www.pinellashomeless.org/donate

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