Carolyn Braaksma

Artist Website

Artist Resume

Artist Statement

As a public artist I design art that is built for the public and belongs to the public. I consider myself to be a designer and maker of practical art since I design for enhancements that are incorporated into the construction process and are built by contractors without extraordinary effect on project schedule or budget.

I manage an inherently collaborative practice of balancing my ideas with the limitations imposed by engineering, architectural and funding concerns. My art making is much less about the artist as individual and more about the artist as a tool to find the solution for the potential of a public space.

I typically research the history of a community – whether natural or cultural history – and gather input from the community to develop a concept for each public project. Every project is completely unique because of the special consideration of place; each place is specific unto itself. Finding a practical and elegant way to express my ideas, to satisfy requirements of the specific site of the artwork, and to address budget considerations pushes me to find the perfect balance to bring a project to life.

From the seed of the basic art concept to the evolution of buildable details for those concepts, my role as a public artist centers on the process of problem solving and working within the constraints that fabrication and construction often present. My ultimate goal is to produce elements that engage the public and create a dialogue not only between the artwork and the physical site, but also among those who interact with the enhancements. At the same time the enhancements must be buildable by a contractor within the available schedule and budget.

My public art strives to engage a community by reminding it of its unique background, its opportunity to maintain that history and its potential to positively add to its status.