“ASTRAL CHALLENGER,” NEW MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE BY ARTIST SHANA MABARI, INSTALLED IN LANCASTER, CALIFORNIA

ASTRAL CHALLENGER,” NEW MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE BY ARTIST SHANA MABARI, INSTALLED IN LANCASTER, CALIFORNIA 

THE WORK IS THE FIRST PIECE OF PUBLIC ART COMMISSIONED BY THE CITY OF LANCASTER

 

LOS ANGELES, May 12, 2016:  “Astral Challenger,” a 20-foot high sculpture by Los Angeles-based artist Shana Mabari, was installed in the center of a brand new roundabout at the intersection of Challenger Way and Avenue L in Lancaster, California this week.  The rocket-shaped work is the first piece of public art commissioned by the City of Lancaster for its new Art and Public places program.  The piece will remain at the site permanently.

In a front-page story on May 10 headlined “Monumental landmark,” the Antelope Valley Press quoted Mabari, “It is conceived as a monumental landmark to the city in honor and commemoration of the 1986 space shuttle Challenger flight…Eight vibrant blue acrylic panels pay tribute to the seven lives lost in the disaster, plus one to collectively represent the family members and friends who still grieve.”

Topped with a cobalt blue cast acrylic cone, and surrounded at the bottom by cobalt blue acrylic panels, “Astral Challenger” is fabricated from two-inch-square stainless steel rods.  The sculpture will be illuminated from dusk until dawn by LED lights encased in its 19-foot diameter concrete pad.  Mabari consulted with legendary Southern California-based fabricator Jack Brogan on initial design concepts and fabrication specifics.

Formerly 10th Street East, Challenger Way was given its new name by the Lancaster City Council within a week of the January 1986 explosion of space shuttle Challenger.  The Antelope Valley Press reports, “In the 1970s and 1980s, when there were many fewer buildings along it, the street was the route of space shuttles hauled from the assembly plant at Air Force Plant 42 to Edwards Air Force Base, where they were lifted onto a NASA 747 for the flights to Kennedy Space Center in Florida.”  The roundabout was installed in February 2016 to alleviate a history of collisions at the intersection.

The roundabout project, including “Astral Challenger,” was chosen through a Lancaster Museum & Public Art Foundation search.  Seventy-five-percent of the funding was provided through Caltrans grants. Lancaster Museum of Art and History (MOAH) Manager and Curator Andi Campognone says, “The power of public art is its relevance in aesthetically elevating the livability of communities.  We are excited about the impact that “Astral Challenger” will have in the growing landscape of Lancaster.”

Mabari’s previous public art commission was the sculptural triptych “Illumetric” for the City of West Hollywood’s “Art On The Outside”public art program.  The internally illuminated, primary-color, geometric pieces – “Diamond,” “Cube,” and “Rectangle” - were installed on the median of Santa Monica Boulevard at Holloway Drive from July 2014 through April 2016.  “Rectangle” will find a new home this summer, to be placed outside of the MOAH.   Previously at MOAH, Mabari’s work “Diametros Petals” was installed on the rooftop (December 2015-January 2016).

Throughout, Shana Mabari’s work explores the intersections of art, science and technology, and is part of the continuum of the Light and Space movement that originated in Southern California in the 1960s.  She has exhibited across the United States, and internationally.  Her education includes studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris and Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.  She holds a patent for “Dynamic Spatial Illusions,” a portable version of a visual and sensory experimental environment, and is a recipient of the Center for Cultural Innovation ARC grant.

For additional “Astral Challenger” installation week images:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9jywbenxiv1cnd6/AABvHZ-ed3TZl98gOjUB5K8fa?dl=0

View “Astral Challenger” on Google Maps:  

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Astral+Challenger+-+Shana+Mabari/@34.6604614,-118.1122904,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x71f26c4a9effe945!8m2!3d34.6604614!4d-118.1122904

 

www.shanamabari.com