Craig Stone's "Image Emergence: Promenade of Clouds"

August 27, 2011

Photo courtesy of Long Beach Post

Craig Stone is a celebrated artist and interdisciplinary Professor of Art in the American Indian Studies Program and Department of Art. He is best known locally for Shadows Casting on the Shore, a project completed in 1995 and of which stained shadows of familiar images reflecting the relaxed atmosphere of Belmont Shore join tourists and residents alike. In a recent interview with Long Beach Post writer Sander Wolff, Stone explained how Shadows Casting on the Shore gives Belmont Shore a unique sense of place, which creates a community throughout which people can interact with their surroundings in unconventional, though valuable ways.

Photo courtesy of Arts Council for Long Beach

His most recent project, however, is entitled Image Emergence: Promenade of Clouds. This new public work of art is located on the Promenade, a six-block-long thoroughfare in the heart of Downtown Long Beach, and is part of a larger reworking of the walkway by landscape architect Jon David Cicchetti. In the aforementioned interview, Stone described his newest installation. Asked to create an installation with regard to the future, Stone and his collaborators looked to the past, “to those things that have had resonance since ancient times,” shared Stone. This approach led him to eventually consider clouds, which, functioning like Rorschach tests, allow people to discover emergent patterns in seeming disorder. This relationship between order and disorder became the theme for the project. Stone explains that Image Emergence: Promenade of Clouds works “almost like a film negative…cast[ing] these shadows, and these shadows create these images.” In addition to the actual shadows cast from the work of art itself, Stone and his collaborators will be staining shadows into the surface of the walkway. “The illusionary aspect is something I’m very interested in because it makes people begin to look at how they perceive things. They look at one shadow that I’ve stained. They begin to look at another shadow. They begin to look at these interactions. They become more aware of their environment.” Moreover, rather than create an object that appears merely supplemental to the surrounding area, as in “plop art,” Stone is interested in creating an experience that not only seems integral to the area, but also changes each time that one sees it.

Photo courtesy of Long Beach Post


Written by Cortney Smethurst