San Francisco

Artist Hopes San Jose's Latest Burning Man Sculpture Based on the Female Buddha Will Inspire Peace

It’s the year of the woman and a 15-foot tall metal sculpture is the latest art installation in downtown San Jose hoping to inspire peace and compassion in the community. 

The sculpture "Tara Mechani" is an art piece loosely based off of the female Buddha Tara intertwined with the aesthetics of a female robot. The piece is the third art installation from the cities Playa to the Paseo partnership with the Burning Man Foundation.

“We have such a fascination with technology and instead of having it at war with the past, the idea, for me, was to fuse these worlds and not lose sight of all this past ancient wisdom and beauty and intermingle them into the future,” said San Francisco based sculptor, Dana Albany.

Jennifer Gonzalez / NBC Bay Area

The piece stands tall at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez, a public place where Albany believes her art can spread many different messages. 

“In every park, in every plaza, in every town hall, traditionally you see these bronze sculptures of war heroes,” said Albany. “Instead of constantly having a historical reference to war, why not have a historical reference to peace, philosophy and wisdom? I think she’s very prevalent for this day and time.” 

The piece took Albany and a group of volunteers about six months to build. At least 80 percent of the material used on "Tara Mechani" is salvage material except for her armature and copper spine. 

Jennifer Gonzalez / NBC Bay Area

Albany hopes the messages of her art can help others embrace the female figure and many students have already found inspiration in "Tara Mechani" after joining the March for Our Lives rally in San Jose. 

“I was here Saturday and kids were marching against violence and they came back because the piece really spoke to them,” said Albany. “This is our next generation and they were so inspired by her, to see a visual representation of peace.”

If you’re hoping to see "Tara Mechani" in all its metal glory, it’ll be on display at Plaza de Cesar Chavez from now until June 9.

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