Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Installation at the Mart and a bunch of links!

Saturday (4.17) morning started quite simply. Up and at 'em and out the door by 6:45am. I had to be on the Merchandise Mart property at 8am to begin the installation of Scrape which is exhibiting in Countercurrents for Art Chicago. Once again I am thrilled to be exhibiting with the big names in the Chicago Sculpture scene and the world over.

When I ask my older and wiser sculpture buddies for advice on install days, they consistently say to be prepared and to expect the unexpected. I was all set. My sculpture was strapped into the trailer and I just had to hook the trailer up to my Explorer and drive to the Mart. Easy, right? Well, I walked into my studio to find a giant van parked in front of the trailer. Hmmm. Didn't expect that one? I looked up and Adam's (the guy who lives in an upstairs apartment at my studio) door was open – this typically means he is gone. Shit.

I am already thinking about breaking into the van, putting it in neutral, pushing it into the street and hoping for the best. Well, I took a step back, called Adam and he was upstairs. Turns out the owner of the van, Billy, was passed out in the back and he moved it out for me. False alarm.

Now I just had to drive on over the to the Mart. So, when I rounded the corner onto Orleans Street sculpture in tow, I couldn't help but feel that nervous excitement feeling and get a big goofy grin on my face. I think the security guard thought I was happy to see him, but not the case. I was putting up one of my sculptures in the thick of the concrete jungle! Merchandise Mart is perhaps the most traffic-ed spot in Chicago...WOW!

The install of Scrape and all the others went off without a hitch. Plop and drop! Special thanks to Terry Karpowicz and Ted Sitting Crow Garner for generously volunteering their time and expertise to help everyone with the installations. You two are the bomb dig-gity!

I was happy about how everything went and happy about how my work was received. Above is a picture of Al Podgorski's son. He tagged along while his dad took pictures for the Sun Times of the installation. I was told later by Mimi that he told her my sculpture was magic. That felt good to hear! 


These people in the pictures are professionals. We finished eight installations before noon. The remaining three were done on Sunday and Monday. Orleans Street has become an corridor of sculpture that opens up onto the Chicago River and the city. It's beautiful. One of my sculpture buddies, Terry, told me to just imagine this multiplied by 15 and from sculptors all over the globe and on Navy Pier. That is what used to happen for Pier Walk. I wish I could have been a part of it.

The Art Chicago folks already said this could and should be repeated every year. I have a feeling that this might be the start of something.
We were lucky to have some good connections and there was a media blitz about the event. We had Channel 7 and 5 there and the Chicago Sun Times and Public Art in Chicago Blogger. There are links below to what I could find below.  Monday I was interviewed for a feature article about this exhibit in the art section of the Sun Times.  I was lucky enough to be one of the three artists chosen to be interviewed. I can't wait see how the article comes together! I have heard from friends that they saw me on Channel 5 and 7 over the weekend, but I can't find a link to the newscast online and my sculpture buddies don't have Tivo. Nevertheless, it's still fun to know someone saw me and my sculpture and all the other sculpture!

This is Mimi Peterson: AKA the brains of the operation! I have been working together with her since January helping to make all of her ideas come to life. She had a wonderful vision and it is so satisfying to see all the pieces coming into place.

Here are some links to the media stuff:
Countercurrents 4.17.2010 installation on Orleans from the Public Art in Chicago blog by Jyoti.

Chicago Sun Times photos from the installation by Al Podgorski.

Here is a printed bit about the installation from ABC Channel 7:

"April 17, 2010 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Some Chicago area artists were spending their weekend installing 12 monumental sculptures outside the Merchandise Mart building.
They range in height from 6 ft. to 16 ft, and one even incorporates Chicago's favorite activity: road construction.
This is part of an exhibition for Art Chicago 2010, which officially starts April 30. But you can check these sculptures out anytime along Orleans Street." (Copyright ©2010 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
Finally, when I returned home I found these lovely tulips waiting for me on my desk. Thanks so much Ashley and Tricia! Y'all rock!

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