Opening Friday June 18th at Park Life - Risa Iwasaki Culbertson

June 15th, 2021

Next_Best_Thing_Poster_Design (002)

Risa Iwasaki Culbertson

Next Best Thing

Park Life

June 18 – July 18, 2021


In the era of Covid, physical human connection became something more complicated and required a new layer of risk assessment for actions we once took for granted.


Next Best Thing is a series of felted wool sculptures that is meant to be visually inviting and approachable utilizing soft textures and playful colors. The forms are inspired by the parts of people and life we missed while adjusting our lives to conform to a new, precautionary, lifestyle. The materials used in this collection represent our new alertness to microbial safety with wool’s natural anti-bacterial traits. Everything about these pieces are meant to invite people to come in close.


Living in the taboo of touch and connection for over a year, I want to celebrate the real connections in our life with a deeper sense of preciousness.


The abundance of my work seems silly and playful which is visually approachable at face value but there is a personal story behind each of these quirky creations. My aim is to utilize the power of play, as a vehicle, to replenish one’s emotional energy, and inspire stronger connections between us. My artwork is quite colorful and made with the intention for all to enjoy but there is always a deeper meaning.

Risa Culbertson is a multimedia artist, illustrator, and owner of Papa Llama; a playful stationery company based out of San Francisco. Specializing in wacky, whimsical, and colorful work meant to brighten up the gloomiest of days. Risa is constantly experimenting with a wide variety of mediums including paper art, felting, sculpting, illustration, stop-motion animation and more. Her artwork is all about being playful as a way to recharge the creative spirit and find ways to stay connected to those we love.