In the Artists’ Studio – Christy Gast

Burlap, mermaids and a barefoot mailman

Christy Gast Photo by Manny Hernandez

Christy Gast’s Wynwood studio is located on the corner of 22nd Street and NW 2nd Avenue in a graffiti-tagged warehouse maintained by the New World School of the Arts. The two-level space with a lower-level gallery area is the creative home to 20 resident artists, professors, alumni and students.

Gast’s second-floor workspace has a desk and shelves that hold the tools of her trade. Situated throughout the open area work-space are textile-based sculpture and burlap pieces from her latest exhibit at Gallery Diet.

A graduate of The Ohio State University with a degree in sculpture and women’s studies, Gast went on to receive her MFA from Columbia University. Following her studies, she joined the circus where she was a trapeze artist dressed in a mermaid costume. For Gast, this run with the circus was performance art.

Gast moved from New York to Miami five years ago. She felt that Miami’s growing art scene offered her abundant opportunity and that Miami would be a great place to be an artist. To this point, she views the move as successful.

Gast was recently chosen by Bal Harbour as one of the artists commissioned for the Village’s public art project, Unscripted. Her winning idea is entitled, “Self Portrait as the Barefoot Mailman.”

The piece is a photo of Gast in costume, dressed as a federal contractor from the late 1880s who walked the mail from Palm Beach to Miami along the beach. The 12 foot sculpture will be installed upside down, as if it was blown to Bal Harbour by a hurricane.

According to Gast, the work is an examination of what happens when a person walks slowly through the landscape. The artwork might also be viewed as an examination of a slower time, as compared to the immediacy of today.

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