Chakaia Booker

When I was in high school, I had the great pleasure to see one of Chakaia Booker’s pieces on a school trip to the Montclair Museum of Art in the Spring of 2011. I went with my best friend at the time (and still is, thirteen years!) we rode the school bus at 10 am with fellow classmates towards the town of Montclair, New Jersey. Before we went into the museum, we walked around Montclair and made a few stops at Whole Foods, and the Bobbi Brown beauty parlor. Once we had eaten and bought skin care supplies, we walked our way to the Montclair Museum of Art. Inside we were able to see the delicately hung artwork, and the sculptures placed with wisdom. In their art installation wing, I turned the corner and there it was a piece that moved my heart so much that I cried.

Tire Queen

Chakaia Booker is the creator of this stunning work of art. She was born in 1953 Newark, New Jersey (represent!) and is an internationally well known American Sculptor that has had her installations exhibited all over the world. Currently she has some of her sculptures displayed at Millennium Park in Chicago, as well as the Garment district Alliance Broadway Plazas, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts both of which are in New York City. She constructs her sculpture from recycled tires and steel with some being presented in museums and some in outdoor public areas.

I was truly touched on that school trip from that installation. I hold the memory dear to my heart because it reminds me of why I like to make art and that is to stir up emotions in other people. I love how Chakaia uses recycled material to make her art pieces, and that she is turning waste into beautiful works of art. I really appreciate her fashion sense too, she is just an all around artistic genius!

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