|Commissioning Entity||New York City Department of Transportation|
A recurrent theme in artist Carin Mincemoyer's work is exploring mankind’s complicated relationship with the natural world. Her most recent work, Dandelions, was permanently installed in front of the Brew House on the South Side in June of 2017.
Mincemoyer’s piece was first exhibited in 2014 in New York City. Dandelions brightened the day of passersby on West 97th Street for eleven months. Commissioned by the New York City Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program, the work consists of a total of twelve aluminum dandelion flower and seed heads on tall, metal poles. The flower and seed heads for Dandelions were first photographed and traced by Mincemoyer, and then cut from aluminum using a waterjet. The flower tops are flat, and mimic street signs. Mincemoyer “… liked the idea of taking the street sign concept — a pole with a geometric shape on top...and replacing [it] with an organic shape."
For many, dandelions are seen as an invasive weed. Some may be curious as to why Mincemoyer decided to showcase this particular flower. In an interview for The Glassblock, Mincemoyer explained that dandelions are a “pioneer” species that are able to “send their taproot[s] down into the hard dirt, loosen it up, and bring nutrients up to the surface,” paving the way for less hearty species to grow. She considers Dandelions to be a visual metaphor, honoring pioneers and unsung heroes, be they longtime residents of a gentrified neighborhood, or artists who once adopted the abandoned Duquesne Brewery building (now the Brew House) as their home and creative workplace.
When Dandelions was de-installed from its temporary home in New York, the piece made its debut in Pittsburgh during the 2016 Three Rivers Arts Festival. Sarah Aziz, program manager for the festival, was searching for a temporary public artwork by a local artist, and came across Mincemoyer’s work. Dandelions was installed on Liberty Avenue in front of Four Gateway Center, adding a lively pop of color to Pittsburgh’s streets for the duration of the festival. Now, the work can be enjoyed and experienced by locals year-round on the South Side.
By Rachel Klipa, Office of Public Art
1.Carin Mincemoyer, e-mail message to author, July 19, 2017.
2.Dave Bernabo, “Studio Visit: Carin Mincemoyer,” The Glassblock, July 14, 2016, accessed June 30, 2017.
3.Emily Frost, “Large Metal Dandelions to Spring from Upper West Side Block,” dnainfo, August 18, 2014, accessed June 30, 2017.
Carin Mincemoyer is a sculptor and installation artist who currently lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In much of her recent work, she has utilized recycled materials such as Styrofoam and plastic packaging to create works that examine the often contradictory needs and desires that we look to the natural world to fulfill. Mincemoyer received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon and an MFA from the University at Buffalo. Her work has been exhibited at venues including the Rochester Contemporary in Rochester, NY, d.u.m.b.o. arts center in Brooklyn, NY, and Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. She has been an Artist in Residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, NE and the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2007 grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, a 2007 Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and a 2005 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center.
Biography taken from www.carinmincemoyer.com