San Rafael sculpture marks 40 years for exchange program.
A prominent sculpture near the Miracle Mile in San Rafael is commemorating the 40th anniversary of a Marin-based student-exchange program.
Tom and Lilka Areton founded Cultural Homestay International, or CHI, in 1980 and have grown the organization into one of the largest exchange programs in the world.
“We’re like San Rafael’s hidden secret,” Tom Areton said. But he said the new sculpture, installed late last month in front of the CHI offices, is turning heads and bringing new attention to the organization locally.
New Sculptural Wind Generator Unveiling this summer!
After several years of researching, developing, and refining the design, Susan Pascal Beran is about to launch a whole new direction of work, one that is functional as well as beautiful.
The new design will be unveiled this summer at a private residence and expected to be on the market in the fall.
Equipped with generator motor, battery and landscape leads, the generator is expected not only to provide landscape lighting but hopefully back up power as well.
For more information about this and other ventures, go to the contact page and let us know you are interested!
Pascal Beran Designs has a new facebook page! To follow events as they happen more closely, (including alerts about live stream events) go to this page and ‘Like’ us:
Pascal Beran Wind Sculptural Generator For Quay Valley
Susan Pascal Beran has been working with Sharon Hayes of the Quay Valley Project to develop a concept as exciting as this visionary development. Here’s the idea:
-Concept: A strong and beautiful landmark sculpture of significant height to be visible from a distance which heralds the values and vision of the development at the same time it references the historical and natural context of this unique area. It will also generate it’s own electricity by wind power.
-Purpose: To excite, inspire and unify the community and public around this undertaking as well as to visually inform and story-tell about its origins, direction, and aspirations
. -Back Story: The history of this region is an amazing one. Tulare lake, once the second largest body of fresh water west of the Mississippi was home to a vast array of wildlife, of unique flora such as Tule reeds, and fauna, such as migratory birds including the Brown Nose Pelican as well as the Tachi Yakuts indian tribe and early settlers who fished and boated in this beautiful and balanced environment. Currently, the land is arid due to water diversion for agricultural purposes in the early 1900’s, but the Quay Valley development plan would seek to return some of this land to its original condition, helping healthy wetlands to flourish once again.
Community development would also happen in equilibrium with nature, through green practices such as solar power and water reclamation systems. The Quay Valley project seeks to reclaim and restore the beauty of it’s past, both natural and human, while embracing cutting edge technology to allow people to live sustainably, beautifully and intelligently. This is the story the sculpture must embody.
– How: Kinetic sculpture is a natural story telling medium. The interactions of forms in ever-changing compositions allow the view to draw connections and understand the parts within a whole in a way that is at once exciting, playful and motivating. One aspect of the sculpture will be to strive to include figurative representations which could include forms resembling Migratory birds, elements to evoke water flow, and other flora and fauna into a harmoniously balletic whole to represent the balance of life in this community.
Further, the materials used also contribute to the story. Stainless and titanium signals modern technology and advanced human endeavor; like civilization, they are incredibly strong and distinct from the landscape, yet how they are shaped and treated can blend them and unite them with nature in a union to benefit both. Bringing curves and shapes that bio-mimic natures brilliant adaptations speaks to the intelligence of learning from nature to live with it. While color, such as the brilliant hues of anodized titanium which change values with the light of day, imbue an emotionally delightful depth to the sculpture, and thus makes the story utterly compelling .
There are other aspects of materials and technology which can be included in a more refined proposal, notably use of special polymer concrete and dichroic crystals to add to the story. Yet the most important one is the use of an electrical component of this sculpture. The sculpture will have an element which generates electricity in order to self-illuminate at night. This aspect would not only serve as a metaphor for the green and forward thinking philosophy of this community, but light is most profoundly linked in human understanding to spirit. In this way, the sculpture will represent the many aspects of this dynamic undertaking as well as perhaps the most significant one: its spiritual core.