For the last twenty-seven years at California State University, Bakersfield, we have had a unique program that brings visiting sculptors from all over the world to work with our students to design and construct a sculpture for our campus. This program has added immensely to our students’ experiences. We’ve had artists from Zimbabwe, Germany, Korea, Canada and all over the United States. The program has been funded by a $2,000 ongoing grant, the generosity of the artists, and a local family who has provided housing. This year we have selected a sculptor, Jems Robert Koko Bi, from the Ivory Coast, who is now living in Germany. This is an exciting opportunity for all of our students, our campus, and our community.
The project that we want to do is related to a project that the artist did in Africa, where many blocks of wood were assembled and carved into a 25 feet pixilated likeness of Nelson Mandela. On our campus, we are hoping to do a related project, constructing the head of Martin Luther King Jr. Our current budget of $2,000 is woefully inadequate to fund the transportation of our artist from Germany, his stay locally for three weeks (we have lost our donated housing), and materials and tools needed for this vast project. Without the funding of Kickstarter, we will need to scale down the project, which will have less impact on the campus and community. We are also arranging for high school students to come view this project while it is in progress, so that they can meet the artist, and be inspired by the possibilities of utilizing Art for Social Change.
If we exceed our target, we will be able to use the money for future years of our “Visiting Sculptors on Campus” projects.
Video of Jems Robert Koko Bi working on sculpture of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.
Visit Jems web site here
"Dragon is Born" Video of Korean artist Byoung-Tak Mun creating a dragon tail sculpture in two week. He's created nine dragon tails around the world and this tail is the only one in the U.S.
Video of Cornelia Konrad making "Knot Your Average Sculpture" on our campus.
- (23 days)