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Something New Under Foot

If you’ve walked the pedestrian bridge between Terminal A and the parking garage at Sacramento Metropolitan Airport recently, you may have noticed brighter, richer colors on “Flying Carpet,” a public art project by Seyed Alavi. On April 16, 2016 a new carpet, identical to the original, replaced the 12-year-old original, which showed signs of wear.  Depicting an aerial view of the Sacramento River as it meanders 50 miles from Colusa to Chico, “Flying Carpet” recalls the experience of flight and helps reinforce a sense of belonging for the traveler, explained the artist.

The siting of this piece on a bridge also highlights other conceptual aspects of the work. “A bridge is a connection between two destinations; it is not a destination in and of itself; it is neither here, nor there,” writes Alavi. “Consequently, it is similar to an airplane, or a river connecting one place to another; here to there; a moment of flight frozen in mid-air; a flowing river that takes us along with its current to another destination.”  In 2005, “Flying Carpet” received a Year in Review award from Americans for the Arts.

Photo below: the carpet installation in progress, April, 2016.

Alavi - carpet installation

Seyed Alavi received a Bachelor of Science degree from San Jose State University and a Masters of Fine Art from the San Francisco Art Institute. Alavi's work is often engaged with the poetics of language and space and their power to shape reality.  He has created site-specific installations for The New Museum of Contemporary Art and Franklin Furnace in New York City; The University Art Museum- Cal State Long Beach; The Museum of Santa Cruz County; The deSaisset Museum; The University Art Museum, Sonoma State; The University Art Museum, Cal State San Bernadino and San Francisco's Capp Street Project.  His public art projects include; Fountain Head in Walnut Creek, CA; Tree of Life in Seattle, WA; Room for Hope and Flying Carpet in Sacramento, CA; Tale of Time in Kochi, Japan; Seed of Knowledge in Saint Paul, MN; Nature of Life and A Sense of Unity in San Jose, CA; Signs of the Time in Emeryville, CA; Where Is Fairfield in Fairfield, CA; Words by Roads in Oakland, Selected Words in San Rafael, CA; Forgotten Language for the City of Palo Alto; Speaking Stones, Golden Gateway and What Do You Think? in San Francisco.  Alavi has been an artist-in-residence at the University of Washington in Seattle; Capp Street Project in San Francisco; The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin; The Blue Mountain Artists Residency, New York, and at the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, California.