SMoCA unveils new site-specific text artwork

Posted 6/9/20

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art announces a new artwork on view outside its building with a goal to unite the community through an “installation of text art created to cultivate a sense of togetherness.”

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SMoCA unveils new site-specific text artwork


Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art announces a new artwork on view outside its building with a goal to unite the community through an “installation of text art created to cultivate a sense of togetherness.”

Part of a new series of work — “Untitled Gestures” — Tempe-based artist Kristin Bauer recently installed a text work on the main entry of SMoCA and along an interior curved wall in the museum with the exterior text showing, “AND A SHARED LONGING CONNECTS US,” and the interior text displaying, “ACROSS AN EVER SHIFTING TERRAIN.” 

The new commissioned works will be on view indefinitely, according to a press release, adding that Valley residents can see other conceptual text-based works in this series on public storefronts throughout the Phoenix metro area on an ongoing basis.

Participating in the artist’s “Gestures” community project is a way to meet the goal of providing the city with art and culture and publicly share art that addresses the current moment, the release said.

“Bauer’s poetic musings give a sense of hope, while also acknowledging that the future is going to look very different. This work resonates with communities here, and across the world, who are looking for new ways to make connections from a distance,” said Lauren R. O’Connell, SMoCA assistant curator, in a prepared statement.

“During SMoCA’s temporary closure, visitors will be able to view the exterior message from the front of the building, reflecting on the ‘shared longing’ for connection during these times of social distancing. Once the museum reopens, visitors will be able to engage with the second phrase as they find new forms of normality ‘across an ever-shifting terrain’ of shared public space.”

During this time of public closures affecting many businesses, including local boutiques, restaurants and cultural institutions, Ms. Bauer has partnered with the community to use the closed storefronts to share messages of solidarity.

She uses white sign vinyl on windows to keep the installations inexpensive and accessible to businesses experiencing steep drops in sales due to the closures.

“These works are conceived of and executed as an artistic gesture, an actionable effort to speak to the collective level of uncertainty and into the emotionally complex terrain felt globally.  Elevating the function of common storefront signage, the series acts as physical conduits to facilitate a feeling of human connection within the heightened concern about physical contact,” Ms. Bauer said.

While the museum has remained temporarily closed since March, until further notice, a goal to provide the public with art and culture remains, the release said regarding Scottsdale Arts’ response to COVID-19  at

The museum is working toward reopening and information on the date will be released at a later time, the release added.

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