Margo Mullen continues to attract attention – and commissions – with her robots.
The 2006 graduate of CSU Monterey Bay’s visual and public art program created a pair of robots for a public art project in Santa Cruz last summer. Her canvas: a square traffic controller box located on a street corner. The box houses the equipment that operates traffic signals.
Her tiny mural shows two robots, one red and the other yellow, holding hands. Their clasped hands form a heart.
At the time, Mullen told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that the robots were created – literally – in a moment of darkness, when the power went out in her studio. She had watercolor paper, ink and a headlamp; with those tools, she created a series of robots.
“They just happened,” she told the newspaper. Featured on her business cards, they travel with her everywhere. “They’ve become my little friends.”
Now, those “friends” will grace illustrations for a permanent exhibition at the Oakland Museum of California.
“I had a meeting last month, the museum people love the work and now, together, we will be creating an interactive piece in the Natural Science Gallery in the museum,” she said.
“The gallery will be telling the story of seven different regions in our environmentally diverse state of California,” Mullen said. “The robots and I will be representing the Oakland section of the gallery.
“I am creating three backgrounds and 21 characters/props for the project.”
The gallery is currently closed for remodeling and is set to re-open in 2013.
For another recent project, Mullen was commissioned to create artwork for Sacramento's annual Chalk It Up event, a fundraiser for children’s art education programs, held over Labor Day weekend. Her design, featuring – what else? – pink and orange bots and the words, Chalk It Up to Sacramento, will appear on T-shirts available at the event.
Her work – from buttons to magnets, cards to pillows – is available online.
At CSUMB, Mullen is best known as the artist behind the mural at the Aquatic Center. Read about that project here.
Images courtesy of Margo Mullen
Top: Jet pack robot image for the Oakland Museum of California
Bottom: Margo in her Santa Cruz studio