Davina Semo: Reverberation

Monday, November 16, 2020, 5 - 6pm

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Davina Semo, Reverberation, 2020; Patinated cast bronze bell, UV protected 2-stage catalyzed urethane automotive finish, galvanized steel chain and hardware, clapper; Presented by Public Art Fund at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1, August 20, 2020 – April 18, 2021; Courtesy the artist and Jessica Silverman, San Francisco; Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

Davina Semo, Reverberation, 2020; Patinated cast bronze bell, UV protected 2-stage catalyzed urethane automotive finish, galvanized steel chain and hardware, clapper; Presented by Public Art Fund at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1, August 20, 2020 – April 18, 2021; Courtesy the artist and Jessica Silverman, San Francisco; Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY

Davina Semo creates artworks that explore our relationship to industrial materials and to the environments we inhabit. Her sculptures engage audiences and encourage greater awareness of our surroundings by highlighting the role of the individual in shaping our world.

Semo’s free virtual conversation with Public Art Fund Curator Daniel S. Palmer accompanies Reverberation, the artist’s largest commission to date. This public art installation consists of five cast bronze bells along the waterfront promenade of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1, recalling the maritime communication once common at this waterfront site. Registration is required.

Her exhibition builds upon the turbulence of this year -- from the transformation of our lives by the COVID-19 pandemic to the groundswell of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Semo’s vibrant orange bells signal urgency but also encourage audiences to add their own optimistic contribution to our urban soundscape. This conversation will offer insight into the process of creating this new large-scale installation and the impact of these interactive bells in a public setting.

About the Artist

Semo (b. 1981, Washington DC) has a BA in Visual Arts from Brown University and an MFA from University of California, San Diego. The artist’s work is currently exhibited at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1 in the solo installation Reverberation commissioned by Public Art Fund. Semo recently enjoyed the solo show Core Reflections at the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Napa, wherein the Pulitzer Prize-winning Forrest Gander composed poetry and critical reflections to accompany the artists’ new sculpture. Her work shows nationally and internationally. Semo has exhibited in prominent group exhibitions at: San Francisco Arts Commission; Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; SOMArts, San Francisco; Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles; Greene Naftali, New York; Shoot The Lobster, Marseille; and PPOW, New York. Semo lives and works in San Francisco. She is represented by Jessica Silverman, San Francisco and Ribordy Thetaz, Geneva.

About the Talks

Public Art Fund Talks, organized in collaboration with The Cooper Union, connect compelling contemporary artists to a broad public by establishing a dialogue about artistic practices and public art. The Talks series feature internationally renowned artists who offer insights into artmaking and its personal, social, and cultural contexts. The core values of creative expression and democratic access to culture and learning shared by both Public Art Fund and The Cooper Union are embodied in this ongoing collaboration. In the spirit of accessibility to the broadest and most diverse public, the Talks are offered free of charge.

Public Art Fund Talks are presented in partnership with The Cooper Union

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.