Thundercloud Park sits atop a buried water storage tank and provides a panoramic view of the entire metro area and front range with an elevation of 5574 feet. I believe the name refers to the summer afternoon thunderclouds that roll over the metro area from the front range usually moving eastward to the plains. It was funded by a 1974 Park Bond election, dedicated in 1975, and is one of nine water storage tanks in Arvada.
I moved into the area in 2013 and live in the Hackberry Hill Neighborhood north of the park. I take my family there often for picnics and playtime. I immediately noticed remnants of a small rudimentary compass rose and fading yellow circular running track lines. At the time, I thought it was a wonderful idea and that it would soon disappear. Now, in 2021, it is unnoticeable and mostly forgotten.
The invite to participate in the LandMark Project was an opportunity I could not pass up. I immediately knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to make a new and more prominent compass rose; it would bring many benefits to the community. Its educational value, the promotion of conversation about the surrounding areas, and a location that can act as an ideal meeting place. I also wanted to incorporate larger than life geometric shapes and pathways that people could follow for exercise and play. With a circumference at approximately 785 feet, it gives visitors the chance to view distant locations and discover or rediscover sites both near and far.
I painted 1/4 mile x 4″ white lines, eight 20′ x 18′ blue arrows, and eight 5′ x 6′ black Old English letters. It took approximately 64 hours in June of 2021 and completed on Father’s day.
Commissioned by: LandMark, Arvada Arts and Culture Commission, and Arvada Parks and Recreation @ Thundercloud Park
During this global pandemic, many people are finding ways to occupy their time and jigsaw puzzles are one way to cope with our current situation. Jigsaw puzzles have been long used to ease stress, improve work performance, support brain health, and provide solo and group entertainment. I believe this is why people are so attracted to them right now including myself. I decided to use some of my time to try something different, but within the same realm of my art practice. I wanted to try an unwarranted approach on collaboration.
Alexander Chen is an internationally acclaimed artist that creates city scenes and landmarks. His work has been collected by many. He is also an official artist of the US Olympic Team and now some of his works are mass produced into puzzles.
I wanted to produce a New York landscape since it is closely associated with the Covid-19 outbreak in the United States. So I searched for and purchased the first puzzle I could find from a person I met using one of the social media platforms. It was well worn, but still had some life to it which is why I decide to use it for this exploration.
Alexander Chen’s work is bold, vivid, and busy. I decided to try and mute his brilliant color palette, mask his intent, and introduce a slightly darker perspective. I believe I can push this concept further and will be doing so in the weeks to come.
Currently, I have fifteen completed puzzles in various sizes and imagery to work from, and I plan on making a total of nineteen. I will be sharing more soon.
I am working on a new series called, PIXEL LUST. Currently, I am trying out different techniques to see what I like best. I first made a small abstract version to see if my idea would actually work. After making it, I knew I was on to something.
After I sold the first one, I decided to make one at a larger scale. This time, I masked the wood panel and hand cut every square. There is 4,032 squares!
After I sprayed the image onto the surface of the wood panel, I removed the masking tape and clear coated it with a high gloss spray lacquer.
I will be adding to this series this year. I have a few ideas about the direction I would like it to go, but we shall see…