Cabral is the second artist to be commissioned by the NTC Foundation to create an original piece for the holidays. Last year, La Jollan Smadar Sampson created brightly-lit “ICE” for display in front of the Dick Laub NTC Command Center.
Cabral’s new piece, titled “Some Faces From Around Here,” has been placed in Fieldstone Legacy Plaza adjacent to the Fantasy on Ice Skating Rink, and was unveiled on Nov. 17 to coincide with the opening of the Rink. It will be on display through Jan. 15.
Cabral will host an artist talk on Friday, Dec. 2 during the free monthly Friday Night Liberty. Cabral will also create an exhibition of his works in the Martha Pace Swift Gallery at 2820 Roosevelt Road, next to Solare Ristorante. The exhibit will run concurrent with his installation in Legacy Plaza.
Cabral’s colorful and playful work often utilizes craft material such as puffy paint, glitter, and fun fur. His work has been exhibited at Bread and Salt in Barrio Logan and The Keller Gallery at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), where he earned his BA in painting in 2016. In 2012, he placed in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s “25 and Under” art competition.
“Ben is a talented painter and sculptor. His work draws upon his generation's relationship and fascination with social media, consumerism and celebrity, acting as both participant and critic. He often leaves the viewer uncertain whether he is celebrating these obsessions or critiquing them, which is where his work becomes multi-layered, poetic and relevant,” said Dave Adey, MFA professor of art and design, PLNU.
For the holiday installation, Cabral created a brightly colored, free standing three-tiered tower surrounded by figurative cut outs. He uses images of the Point Loma community as inspiration and subject of his public art piece. Cabral was inspired by community members around Liberty Station, and sought to use the moments they shared as source material for his monumental sculpture/painting.
“I was inspired by the Liberty Station sign that read, ‘Collect Beautiful Moments’ so each figure will be based on a moment,” he explained.
The work invites the viewer to post a selfie with it, capturing yet another moment, and continuing the act of community building into virtual reality. Arts District Liberty Station officials encourage visitors to share fun images using #Salutetheseason and #skatingselfie.
“We’re excited to continue the holiday tradition of commissioning a new work by a local artist to celebrate the holidays,” said NTC Foundation executive director Alan Ziter. “Originality, creativity and innovation are at the heart of what we do and we are always looking for ways to add an artistic component to any celebration.”
This installation was selected by the NTC Foundation Art in Public Places Committee and is funded by the NTC Foundation and Point Loma Nazarene University.
The Art in Public Places committee consists of NTC Foundation board members and community representatives: Vicki Reed, community volunteer; Victoria Hamilton, arts and culture advocate, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation; Judy McDonald, community volunteer; Mary Keough Lyman; Lynda Forsha, principal, independent curator and principal, Art Advisory Services; Benjamin Schenk, COO of the LWP Group, Pamela Bensoussan, Chula Vista City Council, and Nathan Cadieux, vice president, McMillin Cos.
For more information on Cabral, visit www.benjamincabral.com. For a calendar of holiday events at Arts District Liberty Station, visit www.LibertyStation.com.