At the 2016 Creativity Confab on April 21, Creative Collaborator Rolando Diaz was recognized for his efforts towards cultivating creativity in North Texas’ children. The internationally acclaimed Cuban/American artist has been given major credit for breathing life to the now thriving Cedars neighborhood but has also made a significant impact on SPARK! too. While words can’t fully express how grateful we are for Diaz, we’d like to highlight some of the work he has done for us here.
Lion Head Door Knocker Swing
For this project, Diaz was inspired by beams of natural light that were shining down on the installation space. He also drew inspiration from lavish door knockers he has seen across Europe. “It started on paper,” says Diaz. “Lions are positive, strong and fierce. They’re the king of the jungle and I thought that kids could connect with the figure of a lion.” Diaz then worked closely artists Byron Zarrabi, James Bauer and Pascale Pryor to create several mini mock-ups and later the final product. We call that, innovation! Have you ever seen another swing shaped like a lion head door knocker?
Diaz help set the mood for the entire SPARK! space by painting a life-size butterfly mural on our front doors. His thought was that children, like butterflies, could transform into their full creative potential. “It has to do with the fact that something can go from being a worm to something beautiful like a butterfly,” he says.
His vision for the gallery floor was to have a focal point when you walk in, while also incorporating the concept of hot and cold. (Picture dozens of icicles protruding from the ceiling and a seabed full of underwater creatures on the ground.) He says the idea was to throw you into a space that didn’t make sense. “When I go into my creative process, music plays a vital role,” says Diaz. “I also go into spaces that are very beautiful such as museums, gardens and nature. All of that influences my creativity. I knew I was going for surrealism in the SPARK! space.”
Because of his outstanding work for SPARK! as well as dozens of other charitable causes, we can’t think of a more deserving person to receive this inaugural award. For even more information on Diaz, visit his website here.