CSUB gets an online kickstart to host visiting sculptor

ImageFor the first time, the CSUB Art Department is using social media to raise donations to help fund this year’s visiting sculptor project. For the last 27 years, the CSUB Art Department has offered a unique program that brings visiting sculptors from all over the world to work with students to design and construct a sculpture on campus. This program has added immensely to students’ experiences and CSUB has hosted artists from Zimbabwe, Germany, Korea, Canada and all over the United States. This spring, CSUB welcomes visiting sculptor Jems Robert Koko Bi from the Ivory Coast.

Although housing has been secured for Jems, additional funds are needed to commission the work and obtain all of the required materials for the project. If the total funding goal for the project is not met, the project will have to be scaled back. The Art Department recently launched a Kickstarter campaign with a target goal of $3,900 to be raised by April 20, 2012. To donate funds to the project, go to the Kickstarter page online.

“The annual project is a great opportunity for CSUB art students to work alongside a renowned artist, as well as help conceptualize, design and construct the final piece. The program also enriches the local art scene,” says Joyce Kohl of the project.

This year’s project will be a large head made from carved pieces of wood depicting Martin Luther King, Jr. The piece is related to a project that the artist has previously completed of Nelson Mandela, and will be similarly constructed. Click here to see a video of the Nelson Mandela sculpture.

Jems Robert Koko Bi was born in 1966 in Sinfra, Ivory Coast. (Côte d’Ivoire is a coastal West African country bordered by Ghana and Liberia.) He studied Spanish history from 1986 to 1988 at University of Abidjan. From 1988 to 1995, he studied at Institut National Supérieur des Arts et de l’Action Culturelle (INSAAC) in Abidjan. In 1997, he won a scholarship and moved to Germany to study at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

He has exhibited in Brussels, Germany, Canada, Senegal, Spain, France, and Côte d’Ivoire. He does performance as well as sculpture, and was awarded the 2000 Dakar Biennale award, and the Francophone Prize at the Dakar Biennale in 2008. He presently lives and works in Germany.

“If you’d like to work with the visiting sculptor and are a student at CSUB, sign up for a unit during the spring, or stop by to help,” said Kohl.

For more information contact Art Department chair Joyce Kohl at jkohl@csub.edu 
or (661) 654-3095.

– Brady Cabe, CSUB Public Affairs Student Assistant