Student brings class project to life with art installation in Vista

One of CSUSM’s students is working on a public art piece to be displayed at the Alta Vista Botanical Gardens located in Vista, CA.


Sarah Bricke is a fourth year student at CSUSM majoring in Visual Arts. The installation piece she is currently building began as a class project for VSAR 406, Installation Art, in March 2018.


Though the project started as a small scale model, Bricke said she quickly realized it was something she’d want to work further on.


Bricke designed a small shed-like building decorated in mosaic tiles, stained wood and surrounded by real plant life. Inspired by traditional Mexican talavera pottery, the design is colorful and covered in different patterns of plants and animals.


“I love talavera tile and the idea of a mosaic structure that incorporate it along with some other Southwestern elements felt like something that the site demanded,” said Bricke.


The building is designed to house books, interchangeable art pieces and photo collections. Bricke said, “…My goal for the interior is to provide a place where artists can show photo collections of their process or of works in progress.”


While most art isn’t meant to be touched, Bricke’s installation piece is meant to be interacted with by guests of the gardens. Dr. Kristin Moss and her public art course had some influence on this aspect of the project.


“Ideas of community involvement and participatory projects discussed in that class shaped this project and have also shaped my body of work and views on art and artmaking,” said Bricke.


Shortly after turning in her model for a grade in VSAR 406, Bricke reached out to several local businesses in hopes of finding funding to help take her design from a concept to a real installation piece. In the end, Bricke was able to obtain funding for the project through a GoFundMe set up by her friend.


Once funding was covered, Bricke took her work to the Alta Vista Botanical Gardens to present as a potential art installation on their grounds. Standing in front of a board of directors from the gardens and presenting her design, Bricke said she was nervous, “I feel that the presentations we have to do as part of coursework is good preparation.”


When asked when the art piece should be expected to be displayed, Bricke said, “Although the design and fundraising came together quickly, I have spent lots of time waiting for other aspects to get approved…I will be thrilled if it’s installed next semester.” If displayed in the spring semester, it would place Bricke’s timeline of work at a year from concept to completion.


For art students, like Bricke, attempting to get their art displayed she said, “Don’t get discouraged. Propose your project if you feel passionate about it; present your ideas if they are important to you. Rejection doesn’t mean that your work isn’t good…Don’t stop making art.”



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