Paper Geodes

I’m on a role with these public art installations, although this one is technically a little older, but I’m still happy to share. I also like that it’s somewhat guerrilla artwork, and done in places that might not otherwise get noticed:

Paige Smith prefers to express her point of view through 3D paper sculptures instead of traditional paint. Her finished works represent mineral formations like crystals, quartz, and especially geodes. But instead of finding these gems in nature, she creates them in some of the oldest neighborhoods in L.A.

“Design is a means to an end,” Smith says. “An effective design creates a bridge between an idea and a recipient. The key term is effective. The creative challenge lies in finding a design solution that doesn’t just hang there but is an active conduit for communication.”

Nowadays people’s attention spans are short, and therein lies the point of her art. Like geodes and other mineral formations that may be found on a hike in the mountains, her paper sculptures are meant to be unexpected treasures. Smith says she understands that many people will not notice her art when they walk along the crowded streets of Echo Park, the Arts District or Abbot Kinney Boulevard. In fact, several of these paper geodes have already been dismantled or thrown away, and one fell victim to the rain. Their fate is not that different from the objects we see in nature as we walk along a hiking trail – but the memory and photographs live on. Smith maintains an online map for those who wish to hunt for the existing ones.

Geode #5 once touched an Echo Park sidewalk. Smith says she understands that many people will not notice her art when they walk along the neighborhood’s crowded streets. This one has disappeared. [credit Inhabitat and Paige Smith]
Geode #10 sits plunked in a wall on the facade of an old brick building in the Arts District. [credit Inhabitat and Paige Smith]

Read more: Paige Smith’s Paper Geodes Add Sparkle to Nondescript Los Angeles Buildings | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

Know of any good yarn-bombings or other public art meant to improve or enhance public space? Share your findings with me via email or in the comments below.