LA-based artist Jen Stark

LA-based artist Jen Stark is lighting up Downtown with “Light Spectrum,” a public art installation at Summer FIGat7th.

LA-based artist Jen Stark is lighting up Downtown with a public art installation at Summer FIGat7th, at 735 S. Figueroa Street.

“Light Spectrum” was coordinated by Arts Brookfield Properties, which is known for its outdoor and indoor public art. The program manager, Erica Overskei, introduced Stark to the location. 

“It looked pretty awesome and massive,” Stark said. “I was definitely interested. It was a really great place for exhibit artwork.”

Stark began working on “Light Spectrum” last fall. She sketched the design with drawing pencils and paper and scanned it onto her computer. She then used Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to trace and color it.

“Light Spectrum” is found on Figat7th’s second-floor railings and grand staircase and features translucent vinyl. The vinyl is from Spin Imaging Inc. and its founder/partner, Ruben Spangenthal. 

The vinyl casts a prism onto the ground as the sun transitions throughout the day. Along with that, opaque vinyl on the plaza elevator shaft and Stark’s signature psychedelic-colored drips accent the top of the FIGat7th columns. Stark implemented vivid colors that are directly related to nature, inspired by the unique pigmentation of flowers and the wonder of bioluminescent sea creatures and microorganisms that live in the depths of the deep sea.

This unique psychedelic installation is free and open to the public. 

“I love the public,” Stark said. “The public aspect is awesome because it opens the art to a whole new audience. Usually in galleries or those kinds of shows it only reaches a certain audience that has already tapped into that sort of art world. I love doing public art because it makes art more democratic. Most art is pretty to look at, but a lot of people don’t realize it. Public art makes the art accessible to everyone. So, people just showing up at the mall, they’re hopefully gonna stumble upon it and be inspired by it. Public art reaches a lot further.”

Stark is known for her vibrant color displays. Her work is driven by her interest in conceptualizing visual systems to simulate plant growth, evolution, topography and sacred symbols. Working and living in Los Angeles, Stark’s work is all about catching people’s attention and creating cutting-edge pieces.

The resulting works often resemble organic, molecular, cloud-like structures and are imbued with kinetic undulating effects that serve to dislocate the viewer from staid reality into an immersive ecosphere of echoing patterns and the implausible designs found in nature. 

Stark’s artist inspirations include Tom Friedman, Tara Donovan and Sol LeWitt. Stark has hosted exhibitions globally, with major shows in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Thailand and Canada. Her work is in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the West Collection, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale and MOCA Miami. 

“I enjoy coming up with an idea in my sketchbook,” said Stark about her process. “It just starts with a thought. I enjoy the challenge of making it come to life. I’ve been getting more into having obstacles I have to get passed and figure out. I love my ideas coming to life.”

Stark will host a show in November at Wilding Cran Gallery, 1700 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Suite 460, Downtown.