Artspace’s Summer Apprenticeship Program brings together twelve talented public high school students and a local artist for a month in the summer to create an art installation. This summer the students will join with Brooklyn based sculptor Carolyn Salas to craft a series of totem pole structures for The Lot, a public display space located on Orange and Chapel. “Babel Collections” centers around the idea of establishing connections between traditional meanings associated with civic art, such as community status or ritual worship, and the narratives that are behind them. Ranging from 5 to 18 feet high, the five totems will be made entirely out of recycled materials collected from the New Haven area. During her time with the students, Salas plans to encourage them to think deeply about their impact on the environment and how they can make a positive difference through their art.
The students will also tour local art studios, visit museums and sketch outdoor art during their apprenticeship. This will help them gain a better understanding of vibrant the artistic life in New Haven and understand where their own creative talents can be utilized. Salas’ work is inspired by her day-to-day experiences in the increasingly charged sociopolitical climate and how they affect internal thoughts of place and being. She explains, “I am specifically drawn to the idea of structures that tell stories, embody legends and freeze historical moments where metaphor and meaning are central elements.”