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Artists to Meet with Pasadena Community About Robinson Park Art Project

Published on Thursday, August 10, 2023 | 6:09 am

The public will have an opportunity to meet the artists currently working on a public art project at the Robinson Park Recreation Center on Thursday, Aug. 31, when the Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division holds a community meeting at the center.

“This event is a great opportunity for residents to meet the selected artists and find out how they can participate in the public art development process,” a City of Pasadena press release said.

Deborah Aschheim, a New Media artist who’s best known for her exhibition “Involuntary Memories,” and Carla Jay Harris, whose multidisciplinary practice includes photography, installation, collage, and drawing, will be at the meeting, which is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. at the Recreation Center at 1081 N Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena.

Aschheim and Harris will share their artistic background and approach to the project, which involves extensive research and active engagement with the Northwest Pasadena community.

The artists will be collaborating with residents and stakeholders as they develop the content and themes for the public art concept.

The Robinson Park Recreation Center public art project was developed through guidance from the Robinson Park Stakeholder Group and community members. It aims to prioritize community input and collaboration in the first phase of the development process.

Deborah Aschheim received a BA with honors in Anthropology and Studio Art from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and a MFA in Ceramic Sculpture from University of Washington in Seattle. She has exhibited her work internationally, in the United States and in Europe.

Her exhibition “Involuntary Memories” is a collection of large-scale pen and ink drawings woven together with text and provides a novel insight into the 37th president, Richard Nixon, and the Vietnam War. It was exhibited at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda in 2014.

Carla Jay Harris completed undergraduate coursework at the School of Visual Arts in New York, received her bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of Virginia, and her MFA from UCLA in 2015. In 2017, she was a Grant Recipient of the Pasadena Art Alliance and also received a Curatorial Grant from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Aside from a number of solo shows and commissions, Harris has joined group exhibitions throughout California, Nevada, Ohio, Maryland, New York, and in Canada. She describes her creative process as drawn from scholarly research, interviews, local history, and family archives grounded in lived experiences.

On her website, Harris writes her interest in installation is rooted in a desire “to create space for cross-cultural dialogue – creating such spaces, for me, is an outlet for political and social activism.”

Robinson Park’s public art project is a Capital Improvement Project designated in 2015.

As required, the artists will be engaging with the diverse Northwest Pasadena community, organizing large public events and initiating even small intimate conversations with the stakeholders and residents. The artists will then incorporate the research into a Concept Art Plan which the Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission will review before approval.

For more information about the project and the community meeting on Thursday, contact Corey Dunlap at (626) 744-7547 or email or visit

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