HERE is a site-specific installation on the Occidental College campus inspired by rafa esparza's work and interactions with students and staff during his residency at Oxy. From February 1 through April 20, the College's Weingart Gallery serves as both an exhibition and work space for esparza, highlighting the process of art-making as the exhibition in and of itself. On April 20, esparza's 10-month residency at the College culminates in the opening of his site-specific art installation on the campus grounds. Beginning at Mt. Fiji and placed in a delineating fashion in four campus locations (Mt Fiji, Weingart Patio, Hameetman Career Center Patio, and the Olive Grove), esparza's four adobe sculptures will be collectively conceptualized by students, staff and the artist.
At each of the four locations – the highest point on campus, a patio, a lawn and an olive grove – esparza erected columns of adobe brick that incorporate portraits of four members of Occidental’s dining services and facilities staffs. The brick was made from campus dirt by the artist and Occidental students enrolled in two art classes, one taught by esparza.
The sculptures are of Ana Margarita Calderón, who has worked for 30 years a member of the housekeeping staff at the college, complete with a representation of the crocheting she works on during breaks, Claudia Mendoza and cook Lidia Esparza in the Olive Grove.