Palo Alto Festival of the Arts
kinetic sculpture garden


Sculptor Andrew Carson blends functionality with form to create interactive sculptures that blend mechanics and aesthetics. His kinetic pieces are the perfect introduction to a new part of the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts – the Sculpture Garden with a theme. Each year at Cowper and University, the theme will change, and Carson has the honor of representing kinetic, or moving, sculpture.

“The Palo Alto Festival of Arts is a unique place to meet people and share my work. I am very excited about the new sculpture garden,” he says.

The Seattle, Washington, artist creates wind sculptures from cast glass, hammered copper and wielded steel. These large pieces are meant to “interact with people and solve riddles of landscape both interior and exterior,” he says on his Web site 

Carson uses a variety of materials including electronics, illustration, camera and mechanical systems to create his wind-driven works of art. Fascinated with the wind’s energy since his boyhood in Boulder, Colorado, he built whirligigs as a teen, messed around in a machine shop and “learned everything about rotation and engineering” working in a bicycle shop. He returned to his young fascinations to create elegant weathervanes after receiving his bachelors in fine arts in photography from the University of Washington.

To create these feats of balance and motion, Carson first sketches on paper, then sizes parts, figures mechanics and rotation and develops prototypes. Once the design is done, parts are created through a combination of handwork and industrial processes.