Jim Hirschfield & Sonya Ishii

Artist Email: jhirschf@email.unc.edu

Artist Resume

Artist Statement 

As individual artists, we find the process of collaboration an energizing one, where individuals, working together, push the breadth and range of art possibilities.  Both of us have significant public art and planning experience.  We have both worked on a number and variety of projects ranging from public art plans to design team collaborations, from freestanding sculpture to sculptural environments. In fact, together we have completed over 40 public works of art, with budgets ranging from $50,000 to $950,000.00.  We have also worked in collaboration with over 20 architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering firms, ranging from large international firms to smaller local firms. We know the requirements and importance of designing within a project’s timeline, working with all the constituents, and at the same time creating a successful project that offers the community a meaningful work of art.

While our art is consistent in theme and direction, we are continually influenced by a site’s physical characteristics and its function.  We work to maintain a close relationship to the surrounding environment.  Consequently our art effectively works with its surroundings.  At times this means they blend seamlessly with their surrounding, while at other times, the work effectively stand in contrast to the existing architectures. However, each design can be traced to the sociological, and often historical parameters of a site.

While we are influenced by a site’s characteristics and our designs can be traced to a site’s parameter, at the same time, we also strive to create work that ensures a variety of poetic experiences with layers of meaning.  As such, as we carry out our research, we look for a theme, something about a place that both inspires and directs our design; an inherent truth that lends itself to becoming visual metaphor.

The strength of our designs lies in our ability to create a vision that is also a solution.

The success of our projects begins with strong aesthetic design that engages the viewer. Once engaged, the viewer discovers other layers of meaning within the work, providing the participant with a multifaceted and meaningful experience.