News and Tribune

March 7, 2013

New Albany public art project artists named

Carnegie Center selects five artists for 2013 installment

NEWS AND TRIBUNE
newsroom@newsandtribune.com

NEW ALBANY — The Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany has announced the artists selected to represent the New Albany Public Art Project: Bicentennial Series in 2013. 

Artist R. Michael Wimmer, of New Albany, will create an art installation on the historic theme of culinary arts in the Farmers Market building at the corner of Market and Bank streets in downtown New Albany. Tiffany Carbonneau, also of New Albany, will install her artwork on the theme of museums and history on the wall of Wick’s Pizza, located along State Street near its intersection with Main Street. The art installation by Lee and Betty Benson, of Jackson, Tenn., will interpret the theme of performing arts and entertainment on the lawn at Riverview Towers, located near the corner of Elm Street and Scribner Drive. Boris Zakic, an artist living and working in Georgetown, Ky., will install his artwork on the theme of visual art and artists on the wall of a building located at 109 East Market St. 

To celebrate the history of culinary arts in New Albany, Wimmer will create a whimsical installation of oversized sculptures of food that he will carve out of Styrofoam and paint. All of these ingredients will be collected in giant shopping bags and hung from the rafters of the Farmers Market building.  

“Two-foot carrots and 10-inch apples gathered in six-foot shopping bags made of net. Looking at ‘Sacks of Food’ shoppers can’t help but smile at the surreal produce, fish and bread hanging above their heads at the Farmer’s Market… just as popular today as it was in the 1800s, the idea of ‘buying local’ has brought farmers, restaurateurs and consumers back to the marketplace,”  Wimmer said in a release.

Technology is a constant factor in our lives today and has directly impacted the ways in which we document and share our personal histories. About her interpretation of the theme museums and history, Carbonneau writes, “YouTube has become a cultural phenomenon and an online museum of human culture, from personal to local and global contexts.  Rather than the viewer acting as a passive audience, as they view historical images and objects on display in traditional history museums, they have now become active participants in not only the creation of history, but also the documentation and cataloguing of that history.” 

 In order to highlight our history as told through this new form of storytelling, she will take a sampling of videos from New Albany to create a video collage of the contemporary history of New Albany, as created by its residents. The video will be projected onto the south-facing wall of Wick’s Pizza in the shape of the building that once stood next door. 

 “The shape of the video projection will highlight an element of architecture that is a part of New Albany’s history, but no longer present, an homage to the architectural history of this city and to our ever-changing built environment,”  Carbonneau said.

A sculpture celebrating New Albany’s rich history of performing arts and entertainment will be created by the Bensons. 

“The piece is built as a metaphor for the fledgling theatrical community in New Albany that grew into a very vibrant and talented rich program that helped to establish New Albany as a community that valued and honored the arts. It goes from chaos to order, left to right, to represent the development of the arts in New Albany and the piece is staged much like the stage bowl that many communities, including New Albany, have for outdoor summer entertainment,”  they write in the release.

The sculpture will be constructed out of wood and at the completion of the two years it will be at Riverview Towers, it will be dismantled and the timber donated to the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, which will build a home with it here in New Albany.

In homage to George W. Morrison, New Albany’s first visual artist of note,  Zakic’s artwork on the theme of visual art and artists will celebrate Morrison’s legacy and each of the local artists who have followed in his footsteps. The image, which will be painted on treated outdoor canvas, will combine hints of a portrait of Morrison with two larger-than-life brushstrokes. As an accomplished painter himself, Zakic identifies with this early local artist.

 “Morrison might have been a conventionalist, but to me, he is a paradox nevertheless,” he said. “On one hand, he is a portraitist, a painstaking craftsman in oil paint. On the other, he also appears as the portrait of a pioneering spirit himself at the mercy of currents and politics of the time. The more I looked into this past I was beginning to see myself in it... what brings the shared histories of Morrison and painters of today together, I believe is the moment at which, for example, the artists mirror themselves in their initial gestures, as if witnessing their own becoming in the paint.”

The New Albany Public Art Project: Bicentennial Series (www.napublicart.org) is a four-year program featuring a rotating schedule of outdoor artworks that will be installed each year in the downtown area, beginning in 2010 and leading up to this year’s commemoration of New Albany's bicentennial.  The 2013 art installations will be installed in April and May. The community is invited to explore the artworks and talk with the artists during the New Albany Public Art Walk from 6 to 9 p.m. on June 22 [rain date June 29].   

— News and Tribune