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Stephen Manka

Cleveland, OH

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Stephen Manka graduated from Miami University in 1993 with a Bachelors of Environmental Design. Manka completed course work in Printmaking at the University of South Florida in 1997 and earned their Masters of Architecture in Urban Design from Kent State University in 2002.

"My work is centered on experimenting in the public realm. I take an intuitive approach to public space and public art to create sculptures that aim to reveal a deeper meaning of that place. Public Art can be a form of urban acupuncture, carefully pinned to amplify aspirations and provocatively tie people to a place and to each other.

Each new site yields a unique framework for a gestural response. It is never a blank slate, rather a collection of related objects. There are reason for things, their placement and their history, distilling these complex site conditions exposes a special quality of a place.

You will find at the core of my work are concepts that strive for an experiential engagement; a contemplative place to occupy, and some sort of imagined or actual public function. The concept drives what happens next; scale, shape, textures, colors, illumination, a visual narrative, etc. There is always a wide range of outcomes. I like it this way; it somehow ensures invention, mystery and new directions."

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