A Miami based contemporary art newsletter / blog

David Castillo artists in OPEN SPACE

Frances Trombly, Caution, 2008

Miami artists Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova and Frances Trombly returned to Miami recently having completed their unique sculptural contributions to OPEN SPACE, a forum for individual artists and collaborative projects at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island that run concurrently with the parks group exhibitions.

Socrates Sculpture Park was an abandoned riverside landfill and illegal dumpsite until 1986 when a coalition of artists and community members, under the leadership of sculptor Mark di Suvero, transformed it into an open studio and exhibition space for artists and a neighborhood park for local residents. Today, it is an internationally renowned outdoor museum that also serves as a vital New York City park offering a wide variety of free public programs. This season, three new installations by Miami’s Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova and Frances Trombly, together with Brooklyn’s Barbara Westermann rejuvenate the once fallow landscape.

Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova, An Inaccessible Gazebo, 2008

Leyden Rodriguez- Casanova’s An Inaccessible Gazebo consists of a white vinyl gazebo that the artist has customized to be completely closed off. The railings of the gazebo go all the way around, offering no means of entry. This inaccessibility creates a sharp contrast to the structure’s familiar purpose. The artist is interested in the alluring nature of the pristine white structure, as well as undermining the viewer’s understanding of sub-urban structures as they pertain to the ideas of shelter and security; the exploration of space and boundaries; and questioning the establishment of value in the practice of art.

Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova installing An Inaccessible Gazebo, 2008

Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova was born in Havana, Cuba and lives and works in Miami, Florida. He has exhibited nationally in major cities including New York and Miami and internationally in Switzerland and Latin America.

Frances Trombly, Caution, 2008

Frances Trombly’s Caution consists of 250 linear feet of hand-dyed, hand-woven fabric on which the artist has embroidered the text “caution”/ “cuidado” to resemble actual caution tape. The artist often uses trompe l’oeil effects in her work to recreate mundane objects, making labor-intensive pieces through weaving, embroidery, cross-stitch and crochet. Her work questions the value of labor, and addresses issues of feminism, class and the American way of life. For her installation at Socrates, Trombly uses the meticulously crafted recreation for the same functional purpose as actual caution tape; as a barrier and a visual warning defining an otherwise undifferentiated space within the Park. The artist expects the piece to evolve over time and anticipates that audience interaction as well as the weather will cause the fabric to deteriorate just as real tape would.

Frances Trombly, Caution, 2008

Frances Trombly was born in Miami, FL, where she currently lives and works. She has exhibited in major U.S. cities including New York, Miami and Los Angeles as well as internationally including London, Vienna and Latin America.

Barbara Westermann, Observatory, 2008

Barbara Westermann’s Observatory is a cluster of architectonic objects that suggest the ability to transmit and receive worldly and otherworldly music and/or information. They are objects of and for meditation and introspection. The sculptures reflect and absorb light and sound like a tree’s leaves; a conceptual, aural photosynthesis. All the “satellites” are sculptures made from molds of satellite dishes, molded and hewn away from a prefabricated look. The installation underscores relationships between exterior and interior architecture, public and private arenas.

Barbara Westermann, Observatory, 2008

Barbara Westermann lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and has shown her work widely, including solo exhibitions at Brown University, Art Resources Transfer, the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, and Real Art Ways. She has taught at the New School for Social Research in New York for many years, as well as studio courses at Providence College, Roger Williams University, and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova installing An Inaccessible Gazebo, 2008

Socrates Sculpture Park is a laboratory where experimentation and innovation expand, reinvent and redefine the tradition of art in public spaces. The Park’s existence is based on the belief that reclamation, revitalization and creative expression are essential to survival, humanity and the improvement of our urban environments. Both Rodriguez-Casanova and Trombly whose work strives to do exactly that (experiment, re-invent and redefine) were well selected for the location.

Rodriguez-Casanova is an artist who asks questions regarding domestic objects, suburban cliches, their environments and the labor associated with these traditions and Trombly, very much a crafts person, employs her hand in the production of woven works of art that mimic everyday objects with sublime realism. By drawing attention to the aesthetics of the banal and its production methods in relation to art history, both artists illuminate issues of value, class, ethics, economics and identity. Their combined efforts and skillful re-appropriations of the mundane have helped to assert their gallery’s place in the Miami arts and secured their place among the most successful emerging artists of within the gallery.

Socrates Sculpture Park is open free of charge, 365 days a year from 10 am to sunset and is located at the inter-section of Broadway and Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City.The current exhibition which opened on September 7th runs through until March 1st, 2009.


For directions to Socrates, please visit:

For more information about these works please contact Ellen Staller:

For more information on these artists please visit:


Socrates Sculpture Park and the artists are grateful for generous contributions made by Plant Specialists, Spacetime C.C., and for the assistance and support of our volunteers and friends. Barbara Westerman is also grateful for the support of Luke Mandle, Rupert Nesbitt, and Lisa Perez and Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova is thankful for contributions made by Paul Sprangel, and Finyl Vinyl Inc.

Funding for Open Space projects has been provided by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charina Endowment Fund, Mark di Suvero, Lin Lougheed (founder of Miami’s CasaLin), Thomas Smith Foundation, and Starry Night Fund of Tides Foundation. This exhibition is funded, in part, by public funds from the Visual Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.



  • Mr Corban Frater


    I was just looking through an art web site and came across your Gallery. Hope you are good today? I am presently converting my Home to a guest house for Commercial purpose and would like to have some of your renowned works in the rooms of the Guest House. I tried to search for your detailed website so I can select some art works but could not get any web page that would assist me.

    Kindly make a selection of some of your works for 10 rooms in the Apartment so we can discuss and make payment. Hope you accept credit card as means of payment? Thanks and have a great day as I look forward to speaking with you.

    Best Regard,


  • Sara

    HI, Have you dealt with this person Corban Frater? (Comment at the end of your Newsletter. I just got the same letter…
    Thanks so much, Sara

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David Castillo artists in OPEN SPACE