Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Joni Doherty, Director of the New England Center for Civic Life at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, NH, saw 13,699 at the Sharon Arts Exhibition Gallery and invited me to be the Artist-in-Residence for the fall semester where I am facilitating an art installation designed and produced by students. We have a core group of about 12, but I think more will join us as the piece starts to take shape. After a concept meeting and brainstorming session, the students decided that they wanted to call attention to water use habits on campus, so they started collecting empty water bottles to use as their medium. How their peers relate to water on a personal level is also an important element, so they are taking a poll on feelings about water and converting the answers to messages that will be placed in some of the bottles. The bottles are being strung together with wire to create long chains which then will be used in a variety of configurations. Many departments on campus are getting involved. Wendy Dwyer, head of the dance department, is choreographing a dance about water to be performed by students within the installation. The dancers will be challenged by not knowing what their set will look like until the very last minute. Art videos are being created, sound about water is being composed to which the dancers will perform, poetry is being written, various speakers––from curators to scientists––are scheduled,photographs are being taken, and a documentary about this project is being made by a student. The big night is November 12, so we have a lot of work to do in not a lot of time. However, enthusiasm is running high, so I know they will create a spectacular piece of art for social change.