Client: The DoSeum / San Antonio Children's Museum
Location: San Antonio, TX, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $7,500
Mary Elizabeth Cantu
SpareParts San Antonio
Junk Jam at The DoSeum was created on behalf of the San Antonio Children's Museum as an interactive “junk or trash” sculpture, which is designed to educate children about reuse and recycling through play. Junk Jam is a whimsical and musical instrument in that “trash” is creating a sound response as children play with it. Junk Jam materials consist of plastics, an old bicycle pedal, discarded toys, metal, thrift store items, and guitar strings. The dimensions of Junk Jam are 5' by 40″ by 2' and it was added to a manufactured base with castors.
I collaborated with the non-profit organization SpareParts San Antonio as a resource to obtain reuse materials, and to source subcontractors. One side of Junk Jam is a laser cut map of the San Antonio river and key interest places like The DoSeum. This piece is interactive in that children can play the guitar strings I installed on this panel. Another side panel of Junk Jam has a xylophone of fireworks, which is a laser cut drawing of the Alamodome and Hemisfair Tower of the Americas. All laser cutting was done by a contractor from 10 bitworks in San Antonio, and the laser cut files were drafted by the artist.
I am a sculptor and installation artist with pieces challenging ideas of art making materials and encouraging lightness in art. As an artist I am dedicated to creating art with themes that are approachable to even the youngest of viewers. I associate my art to play, and I encourage awe and wonder from viewers that is similar to gazing at fireworks. Color is used as a medium, which becomes a playful narrator. My work has underlying tones that are heavily rooted in ideas of reuse and repurposing materials, while introducing non-traditional art making materials.