Rainforest Rumba - Brewster Elementary School
Throughout her project at Brewster Elementary School, artist Yvonne Bobo worked closely with the elementary students to create an interactive and musical canopy sculpture, installed behind the school and visible from Sam Cooper Boulevard. This sculptural “rainforest” includes eighteen metal trees ranging from 9’-16’ tall topped with acrylic canopies, which when hit by sunlight will project the colors onto the ground. Some of the trees are kinetic and move in the wind. Among the musical elements of this canopy is intertwined windpipes with banners containing notes of a song that can be played on the windpipes. Bronze frog sculptures are attached to trees on the playground with small sticks that children can run over the frogs’ backs to make a croaking sound.
about the artist
Yvonne began her career by assisting other artists on public projects around Memphis, but soon began applying for her own grants, which resulted in some of her first commissions as lead artist. Early public art projects include the Raymond Skinner Center and Peabody Park, followed by The Cancer Survivor Park, Brewster Elementary, LeBonheur Children’s Hospital and others.
Yvonne’s art focuses on the interaction between invention and nature. Her wind activated art captures the playful character of the wind, and creates a constantly changing experience for the viewer. Although metal is her primary medium, mixed media is her true love, combining glass, Yvonne Bobo steel, wood, and fabrics. She is designer, engineer and fabricator.
The artist’s formal education consists of a B.A. in Art History from Boston University, but even more telling in her work is the extensive travel and apprenticeships in various craftsman trades, learning ancient methods of carving, cabinetry and water-gilding in locales as exotic as Syria, the Azores or Vienna.
In her most recent work, Yvonne has really captured her personality and varied skill set. "Gyroscopic", "Mobius", "Spiral Rising", "Murmuration", "Rhapsody", and "Kaleidoscope" are grand endeavors with dynamic, sometimes unconventional and hard to grasp designs. Mixing elements of texture, movement, patina, with thoughtful colors, shapes, materials makes each commission a personal, unique display. She now has sculptures nationally, with installations in Cleveland, Boston, and Knoxville with future sites from California to Florida.