Could they fly? Artist Valerie Tymoczko has put that question out to locals with her two-sculpture installation, “Propositions to Fly,” on display at the Santa Monica Airport Park through Friday, July 25th.
The sculptures are airplanes from Tymoczko’s imagination, made out of plywood and inspired by the shapes of wings and wind-powered energy found in the likes of sailboats and kites.
“When the viewer sees the [sculptures] they recognize wings and reference some sort of flying object, but there’s that moment of believability,” she says.
Tymoczko adds that people might ask if the objects can fly, and the answer borders on the line between yes and no.
Creating discussions like that and the relevance of art to the area are part of the reasoning behind the incorporation of an art element at the park, according to public art coordinator Malina Moore.
“[We want] to underscore the idea that the airport is a viable and important art venue, with the Ruskin Theatre Group and the artists’ studios.” Moore says. “It’s a place where not only pilots can go, but you can come there with your family and become enriched in the arts.”
Multimedia artist and curator Bruria Finkel, who was on the artist selection panel for the installation, adds that people should come out to the park because it is exciting to see art.
“Art in the public place is particularly interesting because it lifts your spirit and creates another context for the public space,” Finkel says.
Both Finkel and Moore believe Tymoczko provides a unique perspective.
“I like that it is sort of whimsical and it references the airport with a sort of plane form,” Moore says.
Finkel adds that “[Tymoczko’s proposal was] an airplane form that was actually static and interesting as a juxtaposition to all the activities that are going on at the airport.”
This installation is a result of a request for proposals by artists living and/or working in the city from the Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division in April of last year, according to Moore.
A previous commission for an art element in the park did not come to fruition, she adds. So, in lieu of that, the Art Commission and the Public Art Committee decided to sponsor a temporary art installation.
Last summer the artist selection panel, which also included Santa Monica Museum of Art deputy director Lisa Melandri, picked three finalists out of 20 submitting artists.
Moore points out that the idea surrounding the installation was to give local artists an opportunity to show their work.
Tymoczko is such an artist, residing in Santa Monica and playing alto saxophone in a Santa Monica College jazz band.
After graduating from Otis College of Art and Design with a master’s degree in fine arts in 2004, she taught art at Crossroads School to students in grades six through 12.
Since the fall of 2006 she has taught visual arts at Crossroads’ sister school, New Heights Preparatory School in Northridge.
Ultimately, with “Propositions to Fly” in the public sphere, Tymoczko believes one has to give up concerns about what people or nature might do to it.
“However it is altered throughout this time it will become a part of the work,” Tymoczko says.