Stuart Allen

Kite Table

Kite Table, 2015
Galvanized steel

The Kite Table is a platform for gathering and a cross-cultural reference point. The form is derived from folded paper, but fabricated with plate steel. The table top is an abstracted reference to a diamond kite, the most recognizable of western kite shapes. Etched onto the surface of the table are diagrams for making kites from four different countries: Japan, Korea, Guatemala and the United States – all countries that had a presence during the HemisFair ’68 World’s Fair. In addition to the diagram, a web address is etched into the surface where visitors can find additional information about the construction and cultural significance of each kite style. Standing next to the table is a custom light fixture that references a kite in flight.

The kite-making instructions on the table’s surface are explicit, but the primary intent is to inspire individuals and families to engage in a fulfilling outdoor activity. In this sense, the table is a conceptual object, suggesting the potential of open public space coupled with imagination.

Through his photography, sculpture and installation, Stuart Allen explores fundamental elements of perception such as light, time, gravity and space. His work has been included in over a hundred exhibitions thought the US and internationally. He is represented in many significant public and private collections including four U.S. Embassies, UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the Tokyo Kite Museum, and multiple American museums. Notable public art projects include commissions for the United States Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, the City of Davis, California Police Headquarters Building, and two installations along the San Antonio Riverwalk.

Allen studied architecture at Kansas University and graduated from the photography and video department of the Kansas City Art Institute in 1993. He lives and works in San Antonio with his wife Kelly Lyons, daughter Aidan, son Vincent, and their dog Juniper. He is a runner, a sailor, and a collector of unusual watches. He loves sandwiches. Allen builds kites, and furniture, and once – with his father and brother – a medieval catapult to launch pumpkins.

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