California Artist Works with Lublin Community to Create Giant Poppy Sculpture


San Jose, CA – Feb 6, 2014 – Bill Gould, public artist and a native resident of San Jose, CA, has launched an ambitious Kickstarter campaign to construct a large public art piece in Lublin, Poland. He needs $30,000 USD for the final fabrication and installation costs; even the smallest donation helps. The sculpture, titled Maki (meaning Poppy in Polish), is a 24 foot tall (8 meter high) representation of 5 poppy flowers. “The red poppy is a symbol of hope and solidarity for the Polish people”, Gould explains. Made of steel, blown glass, and hand-made ceramic tiles, Gould hopes to see the piece installed this summer at a small park located within the Czuby Housing District.

To learn more or donate, visit the Maki Kickstarter page:

The sculpture is rather unique in its construction because “local people are involved in the process of creating it”, says Arek Szwed, Polish ceramic artist and workshop leader. Szwed has been leading free workshops for members of the Czuby community to create the 700 ceramic tiles that will hang from the poppies’ petals, and move in the breeze.

Gould and Szwed founded the non-profit foundation, Fundacja na Rzecz Rozwoju Sztuki Publicznej w Polsce (FR2-SP2), to help bring public art to Poland. Maki is the largest project to date that FR2-SP2 has helped facilitate. The goal of this project is to create a community piece of public art that the neighborhood can be proud of, be directly involved in making, and simultaneously support the arts and local economy. “In my experience, engaging the community fosters a sense of pride and ownership as the piece becomes a neighborhood landmark.”

Over the past six years, Gould has worked continuously with “The Maki Team” in Poland, and is returning there this February to finalize details and garner support for the remaining funding. A total of $52,000 has already been spent or secured through in-kind donations, but with $30,000 left to raise by March 2nd, Gould has turned to Kickstarter. “This is a great cause – a great project – and incredible people. We believe once people know the story of this project and see the impact we’re having on this community, they will want to be a part of it too”.

Bill Gould has been creating large-scale, public and private art for over 20 years. The majority of his work focuses on public art for the urban environment with a community aspect. Gould often works with steel and woven wire-cable for it’s strength and durability, and incorporates kinetic elements made of glass, ceramics, found objects, recycled materials, cut metal, hardware, and sphere forms. Most of his work is inspired by elements found in nature.

Gould is an award-winning architect and Founding Principal of Artik Art & Architecture, an architectural firm committed to the planning and design of community and educational facilities, and the founder of Lizard Skin Studios, a custom arts fabrication business, both located in San Jose, CA.