Artist Marisabel Bazen On-Going Advocacy of Mental Health through Butterflies

Artist Mariabel Bazan's

At the core of Los Angeles based artist Mariabel Bazan’s butterflies are layers of passion and advocacy for mental health. In her latest public installation, “La Magia de Colleta” commissioned by the City of Costa Mesa, ten butterflies varying from palm to enchantingly large sizes made from aluminum are stretched along Marina View Park’s new Mariposa Garden.

The sculptures are made with precise intention and meaning. A member of Panamanian-based non-profit organization Fundacion Relaciones Sanas, and mental health advocate, the installation represents metamorphosis and embracing the ever-evolving spirit of growth, a metaphor for pushing through mental restrictions and encouraging personal transformation.

At Marina View Park, the butterflies will be on permanent view, a major accomplishment for the artist who is known for previously having her works displayed in the United Nations (Geneva) and Dance of Butterflies (La Cresta stairs in Panama City), to name a couple.

artcurrently sat down with the artist to discuss what this new body of work means for the artist.

Mariabel Bazan's Large Butterflies

What does unveiling "La Magia de Colleta" at Marina View Park mean to you now versus the moment you were conceptualizing the public installation?

Unveiling "La Magia de Colleta" is the joy of seeing my imagination come to life and bringing the community together at Marina View Park. It’s a very meaningful moment to witness the transformation of the imagination into a tangible experience that fosters community connection.

What was the initial idea behind the butterflies for this particular project?

The idea behind incorporating butterflies into this project was rooted in spreading fragments of joy and beauty across the canvas of the City of Costa Mesa's vision. Each butterfly symbolizes a delicate yet powerful touch, enhancing the overall project with a sense of magic.

How has mental health informed your work, and do you feel like it's changed throughout the years?

Mental health is an integral part of my creative process, evolving its impact over the years. I have always been an advocate and a voice for mental health because of my own life experience. It serves as a nuanced influence, shaping the emotional depth and resonance within my work as I navigate the dynamic relationship between artistic expression and personal well-being. It’s a way for me to channel and transform my emotions in a space with no judgment, where I can process my experiences and be free to create.

What was the thought behind naming the installation "La Magia de Colleta"?

The thought behind naming the installation "La Magia de Colleta" originated during therapy sessions where the name Colette surfaced. Intrigued, I delved into its meaning, discovering connotations of victory, strength, and determination. This resonated deeply, leading me to translate it into Spanish. Adding "La Magia" reflects my desire to gift back magic into people's lives, making the name a symbolic representation of triumph and enchantment.