Roadside Attraction, 2020

Submitted by Nelson Public Art

1+

Client: ArtFarm PHX

Location: Tempe, AZ, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $12,000

Project Team

Artist

John Randall Nelson

Whonelson Studio

Art Director

Patricia Sannit

Art Farm

Overview

This flying/levitating figure (mask on) is a weathervane. It turns into the wind in order to minimize resistance. In doing so it lives on to weather the next storm and to keep fighting the good fight.

Text, screen printed in Iron Oxide paint on the flying figure states: “Better Everyday and Everything is Just Fine.”

Self-reliant and inventive, the historic Everyman represents a romantic ideal of America during a time of rapid social change.

Goals

So this piece is a homage to everyday people who are the front line workers, not just during these trying times, but always, everyday.

The figure represents Everyman, those who often feel taken for granted, but whose work keeps us safe, clean, and happy (school teachers, nurses, sanitation workers, cooks, cashiers, truck drivers and warehouseworkers, to name but a few).

Process

What is ROADSIDE ATTRACTION?
With our Valley-wide art spaces closed, there is a real hunger to experience and have conversations about art.
Social media and other online art platforms have stepped up to the challenge, but ArtFarm PHX and practical
art gallery wanted to think of other ways to bring art directly to the public. This experimental exhibition will bring
a self-directed, drive-by, bike-by, stroll-by, socially distanced, socially engaged art experience.

Additional Information

“Over the years I've heard Nelson's work described as Outsider Art, Pop, and Primitive. Maybe it's all of the above. What I do know is John has perfected the combination of playful and poignant. Using a diverse mix of materials in both painting and sculpture, he's developed a unique language over the years with the use of societal, political ancedotes and familiar cultural icons. Nelson has created a landscape all his own, both introspective and whimsical, much appreciated qualities, in this ever-changing moment in time.” Covington Jordan, Director, Gebert Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM.