Eric Powell - Flotilla
[ARTIST BACKGROUND] Eric Powell is an artist who designs and creates visual patterns depicted in metal for both public and private art commissions. He lives and works in Berkeley and often refers to his artist studio as a combination of an laboratory, workshop and factory. Each commission is unique and he is inspired by themes of nature, history and architecture. He describes the metal as used in a centuries old process of heating, forging, bending, cutting, carving and grinding or using whatever techniques are necessary for him to create the artwork. Powell studied a number of related creative disciplines while at different educational institutions prior to establishing his own studio. He studied at Arizona State University, University of Southern California at Idyllwild, Grossmont College, San Diego and the California College of Arts and Crafts (now the California College of Art).
[PROPOSED ARTWORK] The functional artwork references a fleet of small ships and is made from both new and recycled steel and possibly found and historic metal sourced from the Shipyard itself. These objects, when seen as independent of their function, have a visceral and authentic beauty about them. Using these materials not only makes a literal reference to the Shipyard’s history, it encourages visitors to think about reuse, repurposing and recycling. Flotilla is inspired by and utilizes the archetypal and timeless forms of sailing vessels as its central theme.
[ARTIST INSPIRATION] Artist Eric Powell was inspired by the rich and multi-layered history of the Shipyard. The Shipyard is a San Francisco institution and as such its history embodies the very strength and fortitude of American ingenuity. For this Public Art commission, Flotilla takes the form of a sculptural railing enveloping the pedestrian overlook.
[YOUTH INVOLVEMENT] Youth will participate in a day field trip to the Berkeley studio and fabrication yard of artist Eric Powell where the artist will present a visual slide show of his artistic concept development, and engage in an actual demonstration of his metal fabrication methods.