Public Art Taking Flight
Oakland-based artist Shawn HibmaCronan, the dapper gentleman featured in this month’s Utility Collection, is committed to creating engaging pieces that encourage curiosity and introduce beauty into the spaces they inhabit. That’s an intrinsically difficult mission, but one that Shawn accomplishes often, even when those spaces are not hotbeds of creative thought.
The resultant “Aeriform Aviary” hangs from the ceiling in Compass Books’ Terminal 3 location. Shoppers who look up are greeted by highly detailed geometric wire-frame structures, recalling birds native to California, including the fan-favorite hummingbird. Look at them long enough, though, and you’ll notice their resemblance to the Wright Brothers’ flying-machine prototypes, a conscious choice on Shawn’s part.
“If you look at any of my stuff, there’s no paint, it’s just raw, honest material, with the goal of a first-time viewer being able to study it and see how it was built.”
When speaking about his work, Shawn is of course, being humble. Taking corroded metal, exposed wiring, proud weld seams — the stuff most artists attempt to conceal — and turning it into something beautiful, thought-provoking, and space-altering is no small feat. It’s through this shared appreciation for craftsmanship, and focusing on the process of making, that we became fast friends. So when we began tossing around the idea of a collection of pieces that compliment that focus on creating, we knew Shawn was the man to test them out.
And to celebrate the beginnings of what we know will be a long friendship, Shawn was gracious enough to offer up something truly unique to the TS community: limited edition sculptures of the most popular “bird-plane” from his Aeriform Aviary exhibit.
These stainless steel hummingbirds, inspired by the the most popular form from his SFO installation, give those of us who aren’t big name art collectors a shot at owning the kind of art galleries would slobber over, and city’s prominently display in their most public spaces. Get one while they last. They’re limited to 50, and they’ll go fast, so don’t miss your chance to get your hands on one.
“People romanticize life in the studio, but as an artist, I want to focus on what I'm making, not what I'm wearing. This is the first time somebody's tossed me some gear that can hang with a full day of welding and still look great out at dinner.”