Colorful 'Dream' appears in Redwood City

Installation by local artist Fernando Escartiz draws inspiration from Mexican folk art

Visitors to downtown Redwood City's Courthouse Square this month will notice some new inhabitants -- large, colorful creatures perched on the roof and hanging within the corner Art Kiosk. They belong to "The Dream" by local artist Fernando Escartiz, the latest in the Art Kiosk public-art installation series.

The dreamer, in this case, is the innocent chihuahua sleeping on a cozy bed on the interior of the kiosk. As he slumbers peacefully, the dreaming world around him takes on fantastical shapes and colors and it's up to the viewer to interpret whether the dream creatures are friendly, ominous or both.

Escartiz, who works in multiple mediums including paint and sculpture, took his inspiration for the installation from the Mexican folk-art tradition of alebrijes, first created by artist Pedro Linares in 1936 after visions of fantastical animals and plants came to him during a fever dream.

The giant alebrije perched on top of the roof "looks defiantly at all ... and dares them to step forward, peek in, and dig deep into their own emotions and dreams," according to a statement from Fung Collaboratives, which curates and presents the monthly art installations.

At the packed opening reception for "The Dream," representatives from the Redwood City Public Library announced a story contest for children, inspired by the art. The winner will receive movie passes -- plus an alebrije by Escartiz.

"The Dream" will be on view through Oct. 6. For more information, go to Fung Collaboratives.

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