CORNELIUS – The fifth installment of the “Beyond Walls” exhibition is already up in Robbins Park, where sculptures from six artists will on be on display through the end of January 2020.
One of this year’s artists, Scott Froschauer, is back for a second time and has submitted one of his Words on the Street signs, “Planning.” The Los Angeles-based sculptor talks about the significance of his works, the monopoly on certain shapes and shaking up what is considered commonplace.
Herald Citizen: What’s the intended message your signs convey?
Scott Froschauer: The first one, with all the work that I do, is the surprise element. Hopefully, that the art works past what they see just in the park, that they see other signs differently. The same idea of once they recognize that, they think, “Have there been other signs that I’ve been looking at that I haven’t realized are different?” That would be an ultimate goal from the surprise standpoint. That someone is walking around after having seen that and does a double-take: “Does that sign say what it’s supposed to say.”
With this specific piece, I’m trying to take a message – a lot of my work is about slowing down and appreciating the moment. This work is about slowing down and thinking about a bigger picture.
HC: Your background includes working in “non-ordinary reality.” How do you describe that?
SF: There’s a word called “quotidian” that means every day. As we move throughout our day, there’s a blind spot to it because it’s the stuff we see every day. We just pass right by it. Any of the work that I do, including the street sign stuff, is anti-quotidian. It’s stuff that somehow shakes up that everyday blur that we just move through.
I do a stop sign that says “start.” I’ve got shirts that say that, signs that say that. Someone will be talking to me, and after five minutes say, “I didn’t realize your shirt didn’t say ‘stop.’” That’s a great example of this process, of our brains filling in what we expected to be there.
HC: When did you start working on the signs?
SF: I started doing street art in 2011, and it was based on doing stickers. There was a huge culture of creating stickers and putting them up as street art all over the country. There’s one with the crosswalk guy, and I would put a sticker on the head and created this character going around LA and putting them on the crosswalk signs. … I fabricated a couple of actual full signs that were full Department of Transportation spec. I just looked up how to do it and a followed the guidelines. The first I ever did that with a full-size sign was a yellow diamond in downtown LA that said “relax.” That was up for six months – it was illegally done – until the city took it down, or somebody stole it, I don’t know what happened to it. It made me feel really good and I got a lot of positive feedback from other people and I just really enjoyed how that worked.
HC: What makes “Beyond Walls” attractive to have your works there?
SF: I like the setting. That’s what it’s really about; it’s a beautiful setting. I love the playground. It works really well for the stuff we’re talking about, the non-ordinariness that we’re talking about. There’s an undercurrent of surprising people and engaging people that I think my work fits in really well with.
HC: Where else are your works found?
SF: I just landed last night from Traverse City, Mich., and I just installed six pieces there that are really beautiful. This past week I was in Wichita Falls, Texas, and am doing an unveiling at Camarillo, Calif. Spring is the season for art-walk and art-park kind of stuff. It’s a really exciting season for me. They all stack up together because everybody’s getting ready for spring.