Acquired through an online auction, one of the two Earthbound Moon sites in New Mexico is located nine miles east of Moriarty along Interstate 40, which is also part of historic Route 66. EbM’s small parcel of land sits in this undeveloped subdivision where the only neighbors aside from the looming billboards are grazing horses. At this site EbM commissioned California-based artist Travis Somerville (in collaboration with engineer and designer Dan Dodt) to build an underground structure installed outside Moriarty, NM that projects a rainbow only seen at night into the open sky.
When Travis Somerville was approached by the community arts organization Earthbound Moon to create a permanent installation, he began an investigation into the history of the land, wanting the work to be site-responsive conceptually, not just physically. Excavating the past through stories and iconography is central in Somerville’s work, so the artist searched for a genuine connection with the surrounding community. Uncovering the legend Warriors of the Rainbow, told across generations and tribes of Native Americans, Somerville had found his root. Warriors of the Rainbow is a prophecy about those who will save the Earth from environmental destruction. “Keepers of legends, stories, and cultural rituals,” these warriors are promised to restore purity to the Earth and justice to Mankind, ending the current state of environmental destruction. The Warriors of the Rainbow legend is a historic cache of culture, heritage and faith for the Native American community. Somerville’s Rainbow Warrior, like the legend itself, is a work that comes out of the Earth to tell the story of the Earth. The installation speaks to an universal concern of environmentalism through the lens of the Native American community. The work is a response to the history of the site’s land.
Earthbound Moon prefers to begin every project with ample lead time, commissioning an artists two full years before the installation. In the first year, the artist visits the site to engage with the location and community. We believe that spending time in a place encourages greater empathy in artworks created after the experience. Although knowing the community cannot occur in a one-to-two week visit, this period allows for a different kind of knowledge than that gained only through theoretical research. In the second year of a project, the EbM team joins the artist onsite to install the work. We try to arrange lectures, gallery shows, events, and other forms of interaction with the community to accompany the installation.
Rainbow Warrior was made possible by made possible by The Lab, San Francisco, Arthur Pembleton, Janet Stott and 133 generous souls who gave to the cause.
Rainbow Warrior Legend LED Light installation with Earthboun
Kickstarter promotional video to fund the project.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
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The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.