BY AMANDA ARNOLD
NEW ALBANY —
Beginning in July, be on the look out for another installation of the New Albany Public Art Project Bicentennial Series. Just like the first year for the Bicentennial Public Art Project, there will be large-scale public art installed in various places in Downtown New Albany. Last year the five themes were brew history, Underground Railroad, the 1937 Flood, early settlement and the glass industry. In 2011 the themes are textiles/wholesale and retail, newspaper and broadcasting and the farmers’ market. On Saturday morning at the Carnegie Center for Art & History, the three artists announced what they would be up to this summer.
Dominic Guarnaschelli’s 11 foot 19th Century dress body form will be in the forefront at the Carnegie Center. Guarnaschelli’s sculpture will be constructed of metal and heavy wire mesh, with a base inspired by the treadle of the sewing machine used by his grandfather, a Louisville tailor, making the piece both personal to Guarnaschelli and relevant to the Bicentennial Public Art Project.
“This is drawn from a few different inspirations, both history and art have presence in this piece. I was thinking about the textile industry and the female workforce. This may not have been exact (dress body form) but it’s something contemporary of the time,” Guarnaschelli said about his piece, which is titled “Resartus.” Guarnaschelli explained the title is derived from the Latin phrase meaning re-tailored, a perfect fit because, “this is of transformation and making things new, especially with the Bicentennial Project.”
The piece is an abstraction of the human figure that tells a history of textiles in New Albany, but Guarnaschelli explained he found inspiration in the neo-classical architecture of the Carnegie Center.
Guarnaschelli is a Louisville artist and teacher, and has had a variety of media on display across the country including Seton Hall University in New Jersey.
This year, people traveling through downtown New Albany will also have an audio treat as they drive along Market Street and Scribner Drive, close to the Tribune building. New Albany artist Scott Scarboro will bring vintage radio programs, newspaper articles and local televised broadcasts back to life with his sculptures, which will be two radio transmitters broadcasting through WNAS 88.1.
“If they know what it is and are in the intersection, they will tune into 88.1, and they will seek it out and experience a collage that takes over 88.1 just while in the range, and then the radio goes right back when you move down the road. If you don’t know, you will be surprised when you hear vintage commercials, ballgames that aren’t happening and a few other things,” Scarboro said.
With the help of the two sculptures and MP3 players and batteries within the sculpture, recovered radio programs will be on the air and voice over work reading historic newspaper archives that tell such stories as the Lucy Walker Steamboat Disaster from sources like the Ledger. Scarboro explained he had quite an adventure researching through archives on the Internet and the Indiana Room in the library. During his research, he discovered a 1950s radio program from the now defunct W.L.R.P.
“It’s a series of the beginning of the founding of New Albany, to the earliest roads to building a bridge, steamboat history and the industry. It’s an incredible pallet of information and it’s wonderful its still there,” said Scarboro who has had an interest in radio since he received a Mr. Microphone in 1972 when he wired it to his car radio to experiment with low wattage radio waves.
While visiting the farmers’ market, don’t forget to look up. Northern Indiana artists Janis Martin, Ruth Andrews and Michael Slaski will install “Nature’s Calligraphy,” which will feature 1,000 sumac and red marsh sticks suspended from the rafters of the farmers’ market building. For Martin, the farmers’ market is very inspiring and a favorite pastime for her because it’s about “great food, local food and sustainability.” The large piece, or “suspended forest” is also inspired by the community within the farmers’ market.
Martin explained the pieces will always be in constant motion from the breeze that moves through the farmers’ market building.
“It’s a constant kind of dance, up high above the people having conversation. It’s kind of a parallel dance of the conversation,” Martin said.
For Andrews, “it’s really about how nature creates everything that they need. Everything is there. This project is very green, and it reminds us not to destroy all the wonderful nature that we have,” Andrews said.
In 2010, the New Albany Bicentennial Public Art Project received support and interest from the community.
“This is art history through the eyes of contemporary artists. One goal was to get people who are interested in history to be exposed to contemporary art. Also to then teach people interested in art to experience some of the history. This is a wonderful cross over. People are learning new things. Art is also getting brought into the community to people who may not have experienced it otherwise,” said Karen Gillenwater, curator.
The installations for the art pieces will begin about June 9, and volunteers will be strongly encouraged to participate. The official Bicentennial Public Art Project walk will be July 9 or 16 depending on the weather. Participants can pick up a printed guide of the pieces, or download a free app on their iPod, iPhone or Android. “Take it Artside” currently has the 2010 art pieces and will have the 2011 pieces to serve as a format for a self guided tour.
For more information, visit the Bicentennial Public Art Project on Facebook for the latest news and call for volunteers. Also, for information on funding opportunities visit www.indiegogo.com/napublicart.