Visitors strolling along the Promenade in downtown Long Beach are in for a visual treat with the latest public artwork by Professor Craig Stone of Art and American Indian Studies titled “Image Emergence: Promenade of Clouds.”
He is known for his 1995 Belmont Shore creation in which stained shadows of familiar images appear on the streets, as well as for his artwork at Signal Hill’s Hilltop Park.
Asked to create an installation with regard to the future and the heavens, Stone looked to things that have had resonance since ancient times. He considered clouds and bird flocks, which allow those below to discover patterns and images as they emerge from apparent disorder.
“Each sculpture in ‘Image Emergence: Promenade of Clouds’ works almost like a film negative as each cloud-shaped sculpture casts a shadow with an image within the shadow,” he explained. In addition to the shadows cast by the art itself, Stone and his collaborators stained cloud-shaped shadows into the Promenade walkway.
“The sculptures have been cut with hundreds of holes to allow through sunlight,” he added. “They project an image onto the ground or you can see an image from below, yet it is possible to look at the same sculpture and only see the shape of a cloud and the pattern on the surface of the sculpture. If you are looking down on a sunny day, the shadow from one of these sculptures would reveal something unusual about the sculpture above.”