The Play House: Beyond What Was
Leeza Meksin: Flossing the Lot
Leeza Meksin: Flossing the Lot
Interdisciplinary artist Leeza Meksin installs Flossing the Lot, a new site-specific outdoor installation, and the last in a series of public works all employing custom-designed, printed spandex of huge metallic gold chains on a gleaming white background. The chain link pattern symbolizes many, at times contradictory ideas such as community building, wealth, adornment, incarceration and continuity. When placed in a new geographic context, the print transforms itself and the location, creating a playful urban space for new connections, associations and encounters.
The New Haven installation will be comprised of large abstract forms, stretching across the surrounding walls of The Lot, referencing New Haven's Historic Corset Factory as well as jewelry displays, ceremonial garb, and bondage. The billowing spandex banners will be “chained” to the exterior walls of The Lot, and weighed down with sand bags in flashy cozies. The gold and brightly colored "balls" will evoke the ways bags are displayed in stores, as well as alluding to the more literal "ball and chain" of imprisonment. The gold link motif re-used at the busy corner of Orange and Chapel St. will fit almost seamlessly into the lively intersection flanked by businesses and stores ranging from Sassy to thrift and dollar stores.
Leeza Meksin has designed public art projects in St. Louis, MO as well as at The Pine and the former Donnell New York Public Library in New York City. Meskin received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Chicago, a B.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an M.F.A. from the Yale University School of Art.
Flossing the Lot is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and Project Storefront.
HISTORICAL TENSE in the Artspace Lot Corner of Orange and Chapel
Artspace is honored to present Norm Magnusson’s “Historical Tense,” an installation of six “historical markers” in the Artspace Lot. Previously displayed along country roads and in small towns, Magnusson’s art invites his audience to engage intellectually with contemporary issues that often fall victim to our worst emotional instincts. Rather than presenting strident or maudlin political work, Magnusson provides food for thought, allowing each marker to tell its own story, gently assertive, firmly thought-provoking, and just a little bit subversive. The Artspace Lot provides the first urban home for Magnusson’s project, opening up new possibilities for soci al engagement.
With the support of Artspace, the City of New Haven, and the members of the Buiding Materials Reuse Association, Alison Williams will realize Homage to Guerilla Gardening: a new public art installation in the nearby Chapel Street greenspace, The Lot. Working with a team of students and local volunteers, Williams will design and install a community garden using donated household materials from throughout New England. The public will be invited to participate in the growth and care of the garden as it gradually transforms the space during the 4 months long exhibition. Follow the project's progress here.
Particular Heights is a site-specific, participatory electronic installation that activates the outdoor courtyard of Chapel and Orange Streets, otherwise known as The Lot, and the front lobby window of Artspace. Conceived and constructed by NY- and CT-based artists, Paul Theriault and Siebren Versteeg, Particular Heights is composed of a swingset, LED counter, and a web camera; audiences are invited to swing on the counting swing--each swing on the set that reaches a certain height, will trigger an electronic switch which will perform two operations.
The first operation will add one digit to the counter, thus over the course of the exhibit the counter will continue to add to itself and serve as a quantitative documentation of collective time spent on the swing. Additionally, a webcam affixed to the building across from the set will capture an image of the swinger in flight. A computer located nearby will upload this image to a web server that will collect the images over time.
The resulting image of this operation bank will then be presented and indexed on an accompanying website. In Artspace, an LCD monitor will hang from similar swing chains in the window and continuously display the captured images in a continuously building looping animation that will depict all captured frames of swingers in flight, seeming almost still, as the visible counter ticks away add timelapse speed.
Please join us for the public opening of Particular Heights on Friday, July 30th from 6-8PM at Artspace and The Lot.
About the artists:
Paul Theriault is an artist currently residing and working in New Haven Connecticut, and Brooklyn, New York. His work is based in new media, sound and sculpture. From 1992-2002, he lived in Chicago, Illinois, where he studied orchestral technique of the contra bass and worked primarily in digital video and sound based art. Theriault is represented by Dutch Kills Gallery in New York and has exhibited work regularly in the United States as well as had his video work screened overseas. Examples of his work appear on several online journal spaces, and in the Artspace flat-file series.
Siebren Versteeg is a multi-media artist most recently interested in our interactions with the Internet and technology as both inspiration and subjects for installations. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Versteeg has shown both nationally and abroad, and currently lives and works in New York City.
During the month of July, twelve New Haven area public school students, three college interns, and one Master Artist came together at Artspace to create an ambitious and exciting new art project. Tag and Repeat x2 consists of two individual yet connected works of art. The first is a site-specific installation in The Lot—a nearby municipal pocket park and transit stop located at 812 Chapel Street. At The Lot, six enormous 40’ x 7’ painted vinyl banners span the 100’-long façade of one of the buildings that encloses the space. Suspended from the roof, the vibrant colors and patterns of the banners pour over the edge like a streaming waterfall, instantly activating this otherwise conventionally dormant space. The second, complementary work is a 40’ x 8’ wall painting located on one of the long walls in the Artspace galleries. The large-scale paintings on view in both locations were designed and produced by SAP Master Artist, Cat Balco, her team of interns, and the Summer Apprentices.
Conceiving two new, site-specific works of art that cover more than 2,000 sq. ft. is no small feat. As an abstract painter, Cat Balco works primarily with color, pattern, and non-representational forms on canvas. For this project, her second large-scale painting installation and first public artwork, Balco uses the vernacular of painting—form and color—to stage interventions in existing architectural spaces that transform the way we think about public and private space. In preparation for the installations, the artist asked the students to help her create a graphic icon as the subject of the paintings. Thinking about energetic young people, summer, and the placement of painting in a public park, Balco asked her students: What does the idea of play look like? How can we represent the activity of play without directly showing it? In response to her questions, the apprentices drew images that symbolized play.
The helix-type form that appears repeatedly throughout the banners and wall painting, serves as the logo, or tag, for SAP. It embodies the activity and dynamism of play, yet also speaks to more profound ideas. The minimal spiral structure of the icon echoes that of human DNA, which forms the basis of nearly all living organisms and is the carrier of genetic information. Even though we all have DNA, it is the elemental material that separates and distinguishes each of us from one another.
The large-scale paintings similarly embody this notion of individual and collective identity. While we read the works as unified compositions, each of the students contributed their own handiwork to the creative process. In the paintings, the students’ individual marks accumulated over time; each day, their collected marks transformed formerly blank walls and empty spaces into vibrant portals and visions. In Tag & Repeat x2, SAP connects interior and exteriors spaces and individuals with community and enlivens the promise of transformation that art continues to hold.
About the artist:
Cat Balco received her B.A. from Yale University in 1997 and her M.F.A. in painting from the Yale School of Art in 2007, where she was the recipient of the Helen Winternitz Award for Excellence in Painting and the Gloucester Landscape Painting Prize. She has been awarded residency fellowships through the Weir Farm Trust, the Albers Foundation, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Yale School of Art at Norfolk. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout U.S. galleries and exhibition spaces. Balco is currently an Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at the Hartford Art School at Hartford University.
To learn more about Cat Balco, click here:
September 12, 2009-March 4, 2010