Shana Mabari is an American contemporary artist based in Los Angeles who has exhibited in the United States and internationally. Her work explores the intersections of art, science and technology. Through sculptures, installations and environments, Mabari investigates ways in which worldly stimuli and phenomena are absorbed and processed through sensory and visual perception. She orchestrates light, reflection, color contrast, and geometry with the intent to play with the experience of physical space.
Mabari is part of the continuum of the Light and Space movement that originated in California in the 1960s. Her inspirations include James Turrell, Buckminster Fuller, Zaha Hadid and groundbreaking research by experts in the Vision Sciences at California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, and the Institute of Neuroinformatics, Zurich, Switzerland, where’s she’s collaborated with world renowned vision scientists.
Most recently, Mabari’s “Astral Challenger,” a 20-foot-high rocket-shaped sculpture, was installed in the center of a new roundabout at the intersection of Challenger Way and Avenue L in Lancaster, CA (May 2016). The work is the first piece of public art commissioned by the City of Lancaster for its new Art and Public places program, and will remain at the site permanently. Mabari conceived the piece as a monumental landmark for Lancaster in honor of the City’s ongoing achievements in the aerospace industry, and in commemoration of the 1986 space shuttle Challenger flight. Of the design, she says, “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.”
Astral Challenger was recently featured in NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) official publication for the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA. In the article, Jay Levine, X-Press Editor at NASA Armstrong, quotes former shuttle manager George Grimshaw as saying, “Astral Challenger is a great tribute to Challenger and the STS-51L crew…As NASA makes plans to go to Mars and uses commercial services to deliver supplies and crews to the ISS, it is very important to remember those who gave their lives in pursuit of the many benefits space affords us. We honor them when we learn from the problems of the past and apply what we have learned to further our work in space."
Surrounded at the top and bottom by cobalt blue acrylic panels, Astral Challenger is fabricated from two-inch-square stainless steel tubes. The sculpture is illuminated from dusk until dawn by LED lights encased in its 19-foot diameter concrete pad.
Previously in Lancaster, Mabari’s sculptural installation “Diametros Petals” was shown at the Museum of Art & History (MOAH) in Lancaster, California (December 2015 – January 2016). Specifically designed for MOAH’s scenic rooftop, Diametros Petals comprised a constellation of vibrantly colored mirrored and translucent discs.
Mabari’s 2014 public art project ILLUMETRIC, a triptych of massive diamond-, cube-, and rectangle-shaped sculptures, was created for the City of West Hollywood’s “Art on the Outside” public art program. She worked with legendary fabricator Jack Brogan on the design concepts for this project, which was constructed with colored acrylic panels, and featured internal LED illumination for nighttime display. In a “Culture Monster” story, the Los Angeles Times reported, “Mabari, who hails from the Fairfax district, said…that the installation is ‘a study of color, geometry, light and scale.’” Originally installed in July 2014 for a one year period, ILLUMETRIC was extended through April 2016. Mabari also received a WeHo@30 Film & Digital Media Grant to make Illumetric, a short film chronicling the project that premiered at the 2015 WeHo@30 Film Festival and Digital Time Capsule.
Three- dimensional work by Mabari—including Cube and Diametros Petals sculptures—is also now on exhibition at Imago Galleries in Palm Desert, CA. As well, Diametros Petals pieces are currently installed at a home in Beverly Hills listed for $44 million that’s been featured in the Los Angeles Times and The Real Deal.
Mabari was born in Los Angeles, California. She has traveled extensively, and lived in Paris, Northern India, and Tel Aviv. 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 the design of “Dynamic Spatial Illusions,” a portable version of a visual and sensory experimental environment. She is a recipient of the Center for Cultural Innovation ARC grant.