Americans for the Arts Recognizes Elena Manferdini for “Inverted Landscapes”

The public permanent artwork commissioned by LA County Arts Commission to Manferdini for the San Fernano Valley Zev Yaroslavky Family Support Center is Honored Today by Public Art network Year in Review. 

Graduate Program Chair Elena Manferdini’s “Inverted Landscapes” is among the 38 outstanding public arts projects honored by Americans for the Arts created in 2015 through the Public Art Network (PAN) Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art. The works were chosen from 260 entries across the country and will be recognized today at Americans for the Arts’ 2016 Annual Convention in Boston.

“It is rare to walk away from a job knowing you have made a difference in peoples’ lives and that as an artist and architect you have been part of a project that changed the way people face public service in a moment of need,” says Manferdini. “The Zev Yaroslavsky San Fernando Family Center represented this unique occasion, when you are asked to share your design with others, and make it truly a public experience. It has been humbling to have had the chance to work with the phenomenal team of LA County Art Commission, the unstoppable energy of the Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky staff and all the designers, architects, engineers and contractors that day in day out made this happen.”

Floating overhead in the lobby of the Zev Yaroslavsky Family Support Center is the fantastic imagery of “Inverted Landscapes”, a 12 feet x 44 feet sculpture created by Manferdini.

Transitioning between easily identified flora and fauna such as butterflies and ladybugs to bursts of pixelated color, the artwork is meant to shift one’s point of view. It appears to be a single sculpture. Yet is actually a combination of digitally printed imagery, three-dimensional perforated powder coated metal panels and stainless steel reflective disks. Manferdini 3D scanned flowers, leaves and insects from all angles to create the 3 dimensional imagery. Through digital manipulation, she combined the individual photos to create a flattened three-dimensional collage with enhanced vibrancy and color, giving the artwork depth and a photorealistic finish. Another artwork is located at the west side of the building at the plaza entrance. Here, Manferdini created a ceramic tile floor pattern and window treatment that anchors the design to the ground and juxtaposes clouds of hydrangeas, petals and butterflies into a skyscape.

“These Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate that public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. Whether subtly beautiful or vibrantly jolting, a public art work has the singular ability to make citizens going about everyday business stop, think, and through the power of art appreciate a moment, no matter how brief,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts in a press release. “I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come.”

The CODAworx has also selected Manferdini’s project as one of the top 100 most successful design projects that integrate commissioned art into an interior, architectural, or public space. Voting is now open for the People’s Choice award. Click here to vote. The final winners are announced August 30.