'Art In Transit' Installation Opens At Five Points | Texas Public Radio

'Art In Transit' Installation Opens At Five Points

Jul 24, 2017

Artist Diana Kersey built five towering circular ceramic pieces for VIA's Art in Transit Program at the bustling Five Points area, on Fredericksburg and N. Flores just Northwest of downtown.

"That was a really fun project. I was tasked with working with a place that was transformed from a really dead, vacant lot to a place that was an urban oasis with natural plantings and ways to collect water off the street runoff. They really wanted to create an urban oasis," Kersey says.

The idea was to turn unused space into a place where people disengage for just a minute. She says its purpose was this:  "Invite people to come into this space to and spend some time and enjoy some shade and natural plantings and just have a little respite from a busy urban environment."

If, when you think of ceramics you think of dainty little plates, Kersey says some ceramics are strong and durable, too. 

"Even the space shuttle's lined in ceramic materials," she says.

Kersey used architectural ceramics, what she calls "hollow brick clay."

"While it was still wet, I shaped it and formed it into the more circular objects, and stacked it up like a totem," she explains. "And then glazed them and took them apart, and fired them, and then when they were installed they were installed very similar to like you would a brick wall."

Use of color was an integral part to Kersey's artistic process.

"I have an amber glaze that uses black iron as a colorant," she says. "I have a violet glaze that uses copper carbonate as a colorant. And then I have a green glaze that uses iron and copper."

The colorful totems are segmented into floral parts divided by neat rectangular holes.

"That was put in place for a couple of reasons. One: these are such massive, heavy totems. But to be able to see through them in places is a little surprising," she says. "And also I'm hoping that those voids can be places where lizards can hang out. And so that really does invite nature into the totems."

Kersey thinks public art should perform this important function.

"It kinda unites us as citizens of San Antonio, and it makes us feel a part of something," she says.

Find more on Diana Kersey here