San Francisco-based sculptor Davina Semo creates artworks that explore our relationship to industrial materials and to the environments that we inhabit. Her compelling sculptures elicit audience engagement that encourages greater awareness of our surroundings and our role in the world through that participation.
Semo’s public lecture at The Cooper Union will accompany her upcoming Public Art Fund commission Reverberation. Debuting in May, Semo’s large-scale installation of interactive bells will be sited along the New York City waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The exhibition builds on a series of bells that she began developing in 2016. Multiple towering structures that each house a brightly-painted bronze bell can be rung by park-goers, evoking public modes of communication and harkening back to New York City’s maritime history. Alluding to the bell’s function of calling a community to attention—whether in a town square to tell the time or by ferries in New York’s Harbor—Semo’s work will activate the park’s Pier 1, highlighting the civic nature of art in public space. The artist’s talk will offer insight into the exacting process of creating this new body of work and the implications of presenting the interactive bells in a public setting.
The Cooper Union
The Frederick P. Rose Auditorium
About the Artist
Davina Semo (b. 1981, Washington DC) has a BA in Visual Arts from Brown University and an MFA from University of California, San Diego. Semo has shown extensively throughout the United States and Europe. She has recently been featured in group exhibitions at the San Francisco Arts Commission, Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco), and Parts & Labor (Beacon). She had three gallery solo shows in 2019: one at Marlborough Contemporary (New York) in January, one at Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco) in March, and one at Ribordy Thetaz (Geneva) in November. Semo will open her first solo museum exhibition at the di Rosa Museum (Napa) in February 2020. Semo lives and works in San Francisco.
About the Talks
Public Art Fund Talks, organized in collaboration with The Cooper Union, connect compelling contemporary artists to a broad public by establishing a dialogue about artistic practices and public art. The Talks series feature internationally renowned artists who offer insights into artmaking and its personal, social, and cultural contexts. The core values of creative expression and democratic access to culture and learning shared by both Public Art Fund and The Cooper Union are embodied in this ongoing collaboration. In the spirit of accessibility to the broadest and most diverse public, the Talks are offered free of charge.
Public Art Fund Talks are presented in partnership with The Cooper Union