Issue:  Vol. 44 / No. 31 / 31 July 2014
 

Spanish artist plans to use prize money to attend unveiling of Castro LGBT history project

Carlos Casuso, the Spanish-based architect whose design was chosen for the Rainbow Honor Walk, plans to use his prize money to attend the unveiling of the LGBT history project in San Francisco’s Castro district.

As a Bay Area Reporter story in today’s paper (Thursday, October 25) noted, the project’s steering committee selected Casuso’s proposal over 20 other entries. At right is a mock-up he created of a plaque for Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, one of the 20 honorees so far chosen for inclusion in the walk.

In an emailed response to questions, the Venezuelan-born Casuso told the B.A.R. that he entered the competition as a way to give back to a city he often visits and loves.

“I saw the announcement for the contest online and have visited San Francisco many times, as my brother and his husband live there,” wrote Casuso, whose brother-in-law, David Perry, is a co-founder of the honor walk. “I have a close relationship with the city and have many friends and family living there with whom I’ve spent many great moments… so it was a good opportunity to give something in return.”

[According to honor walk officials, Perry had no involvement in the blind jury selection process. When it was revealed that the jury of six arts professionals had selected Casuso, Perry disclosed how he was related to him prior to the steering committee members voting to approve the jury's decision.]

Casuso, who wrote that he is “not very much into labels” when asked if he is a gay man, hopes that through his design people viewing the plaques along the walk will be able to learn more about the honorees and their contributions to society.

“We live in ‘image’ based times … so I think that including the honorees faces and signatures, as well as the written texts would give more information to visitors,” he wrote. “They also remind of classical bass reliefs but done in a contemporary fashion.”

Living in Madrid currently, Casuso intends to use the $1,000 prize from the design competition to pay for his airfare to attend the unveiling of the project. Organizers must raise at least $200,000 and win approval from the city’s arts commission before they can install the first set of plaques.

The earliest a ceremony would be held is during Pride month next year. More information about the Rainbow Honor Walk, including the first 20 honorees, is available on the project’s website.

— Matthew S. Bajko, October 25, 2012 @ 3:12 pm PST
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