NEW HAVEN UNVEILS PROPOSALS FOR NINE SQUARES PUBLIC ART
(8/12/2008) New Haven, CT - August 12, 2008 The City of New Haven furthers its public art renaissance with the unveiling of four finalists’ proposals, chosen from amongst submissions by an international pool of public art innovators. The artist proposals were developed in response to a Call to Artists issued last February soliciting ideas for a temporary outdoor artwork for downtown, launching summer 2009. This is the City’s first foray into temporary public art in many years.
Recognized as Connecticut’s Cultural Capital, New Haven has a rich history of public art and was the first city in Connecticut to pass Percent for Art Legislation, which continues today as one of the few existing active programs in the state. The City’s entire collection of public art, including its many monuments, numbers upwards of 300.
One finalist will be chosen from among the four by a jury comprised of Cultural Affairs Commissioners, arts professionals and community members. The selected artist or artist team will work with the Office of Cultural Affairs and its Public Art Committee on the final installation. The goal is to create a unique New Haven-specific visual and/ or performance work that is publicly inclusive, interactive, and sensory.
The four finalists’ proposals will be on display August 12 through September 1 at Artspace, 50 Orange St., New Haven before traveling to City Hall September 3-11. The public is urged to visit the exhibition at either location and comment. The jury will review the public’s response in choosing a finalist.
About the finalists
Roberto Behar & Rosario Marquardt live and work in Miami, Florida and are a husband and wife team that produce “democratic” art with a broad communicative range that breaks down the barriers between contemporary art and everyday life specifically in Public Art projects. Their innovative installations emphasize urban place-making responding to the natural and cultural environment using sustainable construction methods.
The artists proposed the transformation of the existing stage on the New Haven Green into a Nomadic Stage, an experimental space approximately 75 feet in length and 25 feet deep, offering a wider range of opportunities for public use. The space could serve not only as a stage, but a dance floor, a public terrace or a myriad of other possibilities. The artists envision a series of multicolored vinyl ribbons attached at the top and bottom of the structure which appear as curtains defining the space. Flexible in nature, the structure would be transportable to other squares in downtown New Haven.
Matthew Dehaemers lives and works in Kansas City and is an artist nationally known for his exciting collaborations with architects, engineers, art professionals and community members. Dehaemers has been selected for four consecutive years by the Public Art Network’s Year in Review as one of the nation’s Public Art Innovators for his exciting community collaborations which address history and community and his interesting use of materials.
The artist’s concept works to blend aspects of visual art, history, sculpture, light animation and performance. Three bell towers, each consisting of three square structures topped with a giant bell, will stand 36 feet high on the New Haven Green. Representing the nine original squares of New Haven, each square will be comprised of thousands of miniature colored chime bells, arranged to evoke a familiar graphic image of New Haven. A proposed public performance of an original piece of music composed specifically for New Haven, performed on the illuminated bell towers, will incorporate community bell ringers, other bell towers in downtown and an antique carillon.
Joy Wulke, Caryn Azoff, Jamie Burnett, and Istvan P. B’racz live and work in the New Haven area. Joy Wulke has consistently contributed to the cultural community of New Haven as an artist and teacher, is widely known for her innovative sculptures and has worked over the last 13 years producing large-scale public art events. Jamie Burnett is an accomplished lighting and set designer with strong roots in the New Haven community and Istvan Peter B’Racz is a composer, Fulbright Scholar and faculty member of the Neighborhood Music School.
They propose to present a series of nine animated light performances, each hosted in a different square of downtown, each highlighting a different aspect of New Haven’s cultural and historical treasures. Occurring on consecutive weekends, the team proposes the use of a Mobile Multimedia Unit which will bring video projection, sound playback and powerful lighting to each of the City’s Nine Squares on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. The program will culminate in a celebration of neighborhoods which invites all residents to showcase their individual talents
Mark Lottor lives and works in Menlo Park California. He is the designer/inventor of the Cubatron, the world’s largest true 3D color graphics display, measuring 8x8x8 feet in size. Lottor proposes to taylor the cubatron and bring nine of his innovative color displays to the New Haven Green. The nine cubes are to be spaced 4 feet apart and arranged in a 3x3 array with a total of 9000 lights in a 32x32 foot space. Much of the proposed project will be in the software and programming of the effects of the lighting system which allows for every light to be controlled individually. Effects can treat the nine cubes separately or as a single larger cube. Lottor also proposes a light pyramid with 10-15 tubes of light to be placed in an area known as “The Lot” on Chapel Street.
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