Silvia Poloto is an engineer with an MBA, turned artist, working first in steel sculpture welding and now mixed-media murals in photography, resin and paint. My original intention in meeting Silvia at her work-live warehouse was solely to view the renovated industrial light fixtures of Jerome Love. To my utter thrill and surprise, I discovered an alive and breathing space of art, love, music and creativity in progress. Her son was writing his high school application essays at the dinner table surrounded by his mother’s large scale art pieces hanging on the walls. Silvia’s creative energy infuses the entirety of this expansive space; yet she is quick to point out that her former husband, Billy, whom she lost to cancer in 2009 supported her throughout the entire build, in spirit. At every step, Billy had her back and it was his silent support that allowed her to persist alone despite the uphill challenges of converting a beat-up old warehouse into a living space. They shared this dream of creating a live-work warehouse, open to young aspiring musicians and the local art community. The dream is becoming a reality, five years in the making.
The space has not yet gone live, so this is an early peek. Poloto is on the verge of an artistic explosion. (She has had many. View her porfolio here.) Billy’s spirit still infuses the space, and to her credit, Silvia singlehandedly made their dream a reality. Looking out across the vast back yard of shipyards, I spy a metal welding yard just below us. Before I can point out the uncanny connection, Silvia tells me how she befriended her metal welding neighbors who subsequently built her stair railings. All in a day’s work for a warehouse conversion artist! To be around Silvia makes any gal believe she too could rock a welding tool, electrify light fixtures and wield broad paint brushes across large scale art assemblages.
If you want to meet Silvia for yourself, come to the Hunters Point Shipyard Artist Open Studios November 9-10. You can’t visit her warehouse space yet, but you will get to meet Silvia and see her large scale art pieces hanging in the nearby historic Hunters Point shipyards, Building #116. Or visit Silvia and her art here.
A Texas bridge light that Silvia plans to mount over the warehouse entrance to signal that if the light is on, the party is on!
Kitchen table hanging pendants below crafted by Jerome Love.
Refurbished street lights above by Jerome Love.