The Collaboration of Commissions

Bay Area Foothills by Merle Axelrad

by Nancy Flagg

California artist Merle Axelrad creates large-scale fabric collages. These works are created entirely on commission.

Nancy Flagg writes:

Axelrad learned about the California Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) call for artist proposals after adding her name to public agency Art in Public Places databases and being notified of the call. One of EPA’s requirements was that artists needed to describe eight art pieces they would design for elevator lobbies in a downtown office building. Axelrad envisioned creating collages of unique California geographic features in recognition of the environmental mission of the agency. She proposed arranging the works vertically in the office building by elevation with the sea-level Monterey Bay Canyon in the lower level up to Mount Shasta in the highest level. Axelrad won the proposal phase, but still had to present her designs to additional panels. Panel members asked questions about such areas as the subject, framing and durability before giving final approval to start the year-long project.

To read the entire article and see more images of Axelrad’s work, purchase Issue Seven or SUBSCRIBE to never miss an issue.

Bay Area Foothills
by Merle Axelrad
sewn-fabric collage
Commissioned by Laguna Honda Healthcare
Image courtesy of the artist