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Paula Crown Atelier - Exploring the Potent Language of Art

Paula Crown is a multimedia artist with a practice encompassing drawing, painting, video, and sculpture. Crown rigorously incorporates cutting-edge technology, social activism, collaboration, and a commitment to sustainability in her studio practice.

Elevated: Throughout your incredibly successful career, what is a moment that you will never forget?

Paula Crown: “It is so worth it!,” a visitor remarked to friends after seeing the immersive sensory installation, INSIDE MY HEAD, at the Aspen Institute. It was a moment of connection with a total stranger. We, as artists, are often “transmitting” and engaged in the personal process of making. It is a deeply intimate and vulnerable place. Upon hearing the viewer’s comment, there was an energy shift – I was “receiving” – and participating in a conversation beyond myself. Making art was more dimensional and held potential that I had not understood previously.

With 5 public art installations in 2021 alone, what do you envision for the coming year?

We are planning for three public art projects in the next year: in the fall, a ten-foot bronze sculpture named RESILIENCE will be installed at Rockefeller Center in New York. Made during 2020 in Greece, the work is based on a hand-crushed solo cup, torn and twisted. It is part of the SOLOTOGETHER series, a conceptual manifestation of pressures on a body. This became particularly relevant during the pandemic. Our actions reverberate and have consequences. This monumental sculpture endures in the face of challenges, as does humanity. While making the work, Leonard Cohen’s poetic comment echoes in my head: “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Through resilience, grit, and togetherness, we can go on. Stay tuned for project announcements in Aspen with dichroic glass sculptures and a commission for a six-foot bronze bell in London.

How does the power of art influence positive change for social movements?

Art is a profoundly potent language. It is uniquely human and can transcend culture, geography, and genres. Artists have innate sensibilities and can synthesize ideas. They create spaces for pause and reflection. Art can transport a viewer to a new place, while standing in exactly the same spot. We need such spaces to hear and reconnect with each other during these turbulent times. Gravity reminds us that each of us belong to the world and to each other.

What sustainable practices do you utilize in your studio?

My studio was designed to be sustainable from the start. Working with the extraordinary architect, Jeanne Gang, we created a LEED Silver studio with proper air filtration systems and recycled materials for the furnishings and shades. For flooring, we salvaged wood from nearby Grant Park. My ethos is to reuse and reimage all of the resources that we already have and to have a light touch on the planet.


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