Car Culture Panels, for Soquel Parking Garage
1997-2001, Santa Cruz, CA

Vicki Scuri SiteWorks with Gary Garmann Architects
Sponsored by City of Santa Cruz Department of Public Works

This project includes 17 porcelain enamel on steel panels 32"x88" each. The flat, graphic, hard-edged, and contemporary quality of the images recalls the hard, shiny finish of cars. This is in direct contrast with sculpted, geometric forms of Art Deco referenced through "overlapping coin and "endless wave" motifs that once characterizing Santa Cruz's historic buildings. Each panel pairs transportation imagery with a popular song title that reflects its image. The songs are both old and new, capturing slices of Americana within the last hundred years: the time period when the automobile was introduced. These images invite the viewer to investigate the lyrics and reconsider the words in light of our love and hate for contemporary car culture. The series extends beyond the automobile to other modes of transportation including: bicycles, buses, trains, and walking, offering an amusing portrait of the dilemmas and ironies that we all face as we hop into our cars while advocating for a "car free, care free" ride to our homes, our friends and downtown destinations.

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