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Leah Rosenberg: SLO(W) Rainbow

Category Public Art


1010 Broad Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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SLO(W) Rainbow, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art’s newest mural, wraps around all four walls of the Museum’s building. Motivated by thoughts of hospitality and delight, it is intended to be approached from any direction—there is no set starting point—yet the orientation of each wall plays a role in the overall design. Colors, shapes, and patterns come together like pieces of a puzzle, a story of seasons, a map to wander, a patch-work portrait of this place, for this place. The Monterey Street side wall depicts the setting sun to the rising moon. Around the corner on Broad Street, the Nine Sisters parade their way to the Museum front entrance like a warm welcome. Other surprises moving clockwise: a playful nod to the Moon Tree, secret “rainbows” as architectural intervention, and a selection of local botanical wonders. Paying homage to the Museum’s architecture and its natural setting, SLO(W) Rainbow intends to ground people in the beauty of their surroundings, and strives to give visitors a chance to engage in their own process of sensitive, perceptive engagement, both inside and outside the Museum. On the creekside wall, patterns come together, like confetti or seeds being planted, reflecting on the importance of collaboration and community.

Sourcing colors from local landscapes and iconic regional locations, the work also acknowledges the shifts that occur through changing seasons, weather, and light. SLO(W) Rainbow reflects the creativity and energy of the Museum; a reminder that one’s experience can be made memorable and joyful by simply looking a little longer at the colors we encounter each day.

About the Artist

Leah Rosenberg works across artistic media to spark new experiences of color. Using painting, installation, printmaking, sculpture, performance, and video she invites viewers to consider how color can be perceived both multi-sensorially and multi-dimensionally. By creating such enriched encounters, her work strives to deepen our understanding of the emotional and psychological impact of color in everyday life.

Rooted in her belief in the fundamental generosity of art and the creative act, Rosenberg promotes an egalitarian approach to the perception of color. In such works as the commissioned mural, Everywhere A Color (2018)—a commissioned installation at San Francisco Airport’s International Terminal—and her book The Color Collector’s Handbook (2018, Chronicle Books), she guides each person to form individualized connections to the many hues.

Based in San Francisco, Rosenberg has shown work, participated in artist residency programs, and been awarded fellowships locally, nationally, and internationally. Her work is part of SFMOMA’s permanent collection where she also worked as the lead pastry chef at their rooftop café. Combining her talents, she created a spectrum of desserts based on the museum’s collection. A recent exhibition at SFMOMA, One Day At a Time: Susan O’Malley and Leah Rosenberg, was on view accompanied by site-specific, time-based accretive wall painting Getting Better Every Day a Color.

Rosenberg received a BFA from Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver, BC and an MFA from California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

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