Carolyn Braaksma - Denver, CO
2013 Artist in Residence
CATS Art-in-Transit sponsored Carolyn Braaksma's residency at the McColl Center in 2013, where she used her studio space and the center's resources to complete the development of the 17 different patterns for the Blue Line Extension (BLE) walls. She created detailed drawings of these patterns and also completed the carving of the first of her prototypes, Calico Kudzu. Braaksma's full-scale prototypes, with reliefs as high as 3", incorporated hand carved elements, CNC routered patterns, and some even contained real objects like rope. She worked closely with the BLE Project Team and engineers to develop the layouts of the patterns that were then included in the project construction plans. She also met with other city staff through sudio visits and engaged with members of the community during Open Studio Days to demonstrate her process for creating custom art walls.
5' x 5' Calico Kudzu prototype A negative relief is made to cast the positive mastermold for the design
With over 20 years of experience creating infrastructure public art, Braaksma's design approach is site specific and inherently collaborative, balancing her concepts with project requirements. Braaksma says the wall layouts are generally derived from fabric patterns and the imagery references the Charlotte region by illustrating many indigenous insectivores and orchids that thrive in North Carolina.
During her residency, Braaksma also spoke to a UNC Charlotte Urban Design Class about her work and experience, gave presentations to the public, and participated in local media interviews.
Braaksma participated in the following community presentations and events:
- Artist to Artist Presentation at McColl Center for Visual Art
- McColl Center for Visual Art Open Studio Saturdays
- Opening Reception of BLE Art Exhibition at UNC Charlotte, Storrs Gallery
- Outreach with UNC Charlotte Urban Design Class
- McColl Center for Visual Art Opening & Closing Receptions