Art Migration

A Long Journey to a New Home

The installation site in Brazil

The installation site in Brazil

In October, seven of the giant steel sculptures that have towered over American Steel Studios for the last several years have been packed up for their journey to their new home in South America.

The figures will become part of an emerging rain forest preserve in Brazil, at which replanting has been underway for three decades. The sculptures were built with a very strong environmental message, so it is appropriate for them to reside on a preserve dedicated to restoring the rain forest.



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“Ecstasy” as she was installed in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. 2011

The series was built at American Steel Studios from 2005 through 2007. They have enjoyed a number of temporary public installations in San Francisco and Seattle, and been exhibited at numerous events such as Maker Faire, The Fire Arts Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival, Nocturnal, Burning Man and many others.

The sculptures departed Oakland on Thursday, November 8th, and were loaded onto their trailers at the Port of Long Beach, CA on Friday the 9th, traveled through the Panama Canal and arrived at the Port in Brazil on December 20th.

About the Artist

Artist Karen Cusolito just returned from a quick trip to the reserve, to do a site inspection and help with some logistical planning, such as “figuring out how we are going to get cranes and trucks up to the top of this big hill!”

Karen will return in a few months, along with Miss Margaret Long and Gary Gregory, and few other crew members, to do the installation.

Karen has also been commissioned for another series for the preserve, to raise awareness for conservation of the forest and the protection of an endangered species of monkey. The first concept model for this next installation, entitled “Canopy,” has already been built.

This new series will engage the local community during its construction as the installation crew will be teaching metal-working skills and plundering local scrap yards.

Karen hostessed a giant “family portrait” in honor of all the people who helped build, inspire, challenge or otherwise facilitate the creation of these large-scale sculptures.  She says:

“When I explain that the art is leaving for its new home, people are initially sad, but when I tell them they are going to live in paradise on a preserve, they are undeniably happy.”


Family Portrait and Champagne Toast to bid farewell to our giants. October, 2012.



Local wildlife seem curious about the sculptures as they await installation

Local wildlife seem curious about the sculptures as they await installation