I AM HERe Public Art Installation

A Community Collaboration
May 18 – June 16, 2019

Opening Reception: June 7, 5-7PM
During First Friday Art Walk
Robinson Plaza
132 Main St., Nevada City, CA

I AM HERE is a true community collaboration. Through several gatherings under the artistic direction of Ruth Chase, a group of local women arrived at a collective vision for an interactive public art installation, “I AM HERe.”

The key participants in I AM HERE are Cassie Angle, Elma Baker, Melinda Booth, Virginia Rose Covert, Kimberlee Evans, Susan Gouveia, Isis Indriya, Kayle Martin, Erin Noel, Elisa Parker, Shelby Richardson, Jennifer Singer, and Ginny Woods (known as AniLa in her Buddhist practice). Together they explored what it means to belong in Nevada County as a woman and developed a vision for this art installation. Significant symbolism was used to lead the design, including charring of the wood to represent renewal and care for the earth as mother, as well as weaving to represent community and integration.

Once the symbolic vision was determined, Ruth Chase, Monica Hughes, and Sally Peterson worked together to design a structure that would embrace these ideas and symbology. The “I AM HERe” installation is made of local manzanita branches and Yuba River rock, and includes audio and visual elements along with two interactive features. The structure incorporates QR codes linked to videos of the key participants, and a social engagement opportunity for all who visit. All of the videos were filmed by Will Edwards and edited by Ruth Chase.

The exhibit is part of the Nevada County Arts Council’s year-long I AM HERE arts initiative, led by Artist Ruth Chase. This initiative was generously funded in part by California Arts Council through their Artists in Communities Program.

The I AM HERE initiative uses several platforms to look at the question of women finding and maintaining their sense of belonging in our changing rural landscape. These platforms include this art installation as well as social media, public art-making salons, a performance art piece, and a short film. There will also be an I AM HERe Collaborating Artists Group art exhibition at BriarPatch Coop from June 7 – July 2.