Get a behind-the-scenes look at this project at Pima Animal Care Center.
Q&A with Roger Stoller
April 23, 2018
Photo credit (above): Roger Stoller / (below): Laura K Moore Photography
The Arts Foundation caught up with Roger Stoller who recently finished a project for the Pima Animal Care Center
AF:What attracted you to working on this project in Tucson? RS: I was drawn to the project by my love for animals and the opportunity to create something meaningful for the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) community.
AF:Why is this project important to you? In what ways do you see yourself continuing your work? RS: An important aspect of my process in creating community-based sculpture involves getting to know the community’s character and voice. I was struck by the PACC’s commitment and connection to the animals. The ways in which they infuse their work with love and care was a pleasure to bring into the piece. The sculpture integrates techniques that my team and I have developed and refined over many years, and the process of creating this piece will inform the evolution of my work in this style.
AF: Why does your passion lie in working with/sculpting metal media? RS: Stainless steel is ideal for this kind of work as it allows me the freedom to create exterior artwork on a large scale. It is durable for decades of exposure to weather while having the ability to express themes of complexity and layered meaning in the form and texture of the metal.
AF: How has your practice developed with the growth of this project? RS: My practice is an ongoing development, expressing through sculpture my new ideas and those of the communities with which I partner. Although my style as a studio artist is abstract, I have found that working in the public domain has led me to bring more representational imagery into my work. This is not an artistic compromise, as I always remain true to my instincts as an artist while while considering the public audience in my vision. I believe that the artwork belongs to the community that it lives in. It is important to me that people can relate to the work when they happen upon it, even if they have not necessarily sought it out. My hope is that they will find an unexpected experience that moves them. In this way, art in the public domain touches folks who might never encounter it otherwise.
AF:Were there any challenges you faced while working on this project? If so, how did you overcome them? RS: Due to having developed our creative and logistical processes over a number of original projects, the creation of this piece for PACC went smoothly. However, it takes time and care to manifest a work of this complexity. The most engaging challenge was infusing my artwork with the love I share for the PACC and the animals represented in the piece.
AF: What did you like most about working with the Pima Animal Care Center? RS: I loved working with the people – both two and four legged! The skill, care, and love displayed by PACC volunteers, staff and county employees have been something to witness. I am proud to have engaged with–and will hopefully continue to engage with and be a part of–the goodwill and ongoing work of this wonderful community. I also want to give a shoutout to the architects at Line and Space who so thoughtfully designed the entrance to create such a wonderful setting for the art!
AF:Being based in California, how did you want to impact the Tucson community with your work? RS: While the creation of this piece connected my shared love of animals and the PACC, I am certain that the joy these animals bring will be shared with the Tucson community. I experienced Tucson as a warm and welcoming community who worked together to instill this great energy into the character of the piece.
AF:What do you hope the Tucson Community experiences when viewing your work? RS: It is my hope that those who interact with the piece are reminded of our shared connection to the animals with whom we share our homes, communities, and planet. There is much we can learn about love, trust, and the simple joy of our interactions with animals. I hope the piece is evocative of the emotional experience that accompanies these inter-species relationships.
Pima Animal Care Center is located at 4000 N Silverbell Rd, Tucson, AZ 85745
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