By DANIEL SUDDEATH
NEW ALBANY —
Two years in and two years to go, the New Albany Public Art Project has produced three new installations that will be officially unveiled Saturday as the city counts down to its 200th anniversary.
The project launched in 2010 as a joint venture between the Carnegie Center for Art & History and the New Albany Urban Enterprise Zone Association. Five art pieces depicting elements of New Albany’s history were set in public venues last year, and additional installments will be established each year through the city’s bicentennial in 2013.
To showcase the three pieces produced for 2011, as well as the five installments from 2010, an art walk will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday.
The event will open with a reception at 6 p.m. at the Carnegie Center, located at 201 E. Spring St., and then participants are urged to visit the installation sites in downtown New Albany from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
“They can go at their own schedule, and hopefully stop and have dinner at one of the local restaurants while they’re here,” Carnegie Center Curator Karen Gillenwater said.
At each site, either the artist or a local historian will be on hand to talk about the installation.
“Resartus” by artist Dominic Guarnaschelli will be displayed on the lawn of the Carnegie Center. The theme of the installation is Textiles, Wholesale to Retail, and Sandy Duffy and other Southern Indiana Fiber Artists will be at the site to talk about the art work.
At the downtown Farmers’ Market along Market Street, “Nature’s Calligraphy” will be on display. The art work focuses on the city’s history with farmers’ markets.
The installation was produced by artists Janis Martin and Ruth Andrews. Historian Carl Kramer will join various Farmer’s Market vendors to discuss the piece.
Two towers that will transmit broadcasts of historic news events in New Albany will flank Scribner Drive. One will be located near the Floyd County Jail and the other on the side of the News and Tribune New Albany building.
The installation is titled “Time Ghost Tower-Casts,” and is the work of artist Scott Scarboro. Inside of a block area of the towers, people can tune-in to the radio station 88.5 FM and hear audio recordings of broadcasters reading past newspapers that detailed historic evens as well as other archived transmissions.
Historian Beth Nolan will be present at the site Saturday to discuss the exhibit.
The other installations
The 2010 art piece sites will also have historians and business owners on hand to talk about the installations.
“Brew History: All Bottled Up” by Leticia Bajuyo remains on display at the Bank Street Brewhouse, located at 415 W. Bank St. Roger Baylor, co-owner of the New Albanian Brewing Co., will man the site and discuss the history of breweries and taverns in the city.
At St. Marks United Church of Christ Garden, located at 202 E. Spring St., “Like String and Cans Through Walls” by artist J. Daniel Graham will be featured.
Historian Stephen Pacciano will join Graham at the site to discuss the art work.
“Roots Grow Deep” artist John King will talk about his installation along with historian Stephen Anshutz at the River City Winery, which is located at 321 Pearl St.
“Flood” is the title of the video projection piece created by artist Valerie Sullivan Fuchs, which will be displayed at the Floyd County branch of the YMCA of Southern Indiana.
The installation is based on the city’s connection to the Ohio River and subsequent floods that have impacted New Albany.
The former site of the Israel Boarding House at 129 W. Main St. holds the installation “Scars into Stars” which was produced by artist Brad White. The art work is an interpretation of railroad imagery.
Historian Pamela Peters will join White to discuss the piece and the past that influenced the work.
Importance of public art
Michael Ladd, executive director of the New Albany UEZ Association, said the organization’s involvement in the public art project stems from attracting customers to downtown establishments.
“Public art brings people to wherever it is located, and with the Carnegie Center as a partner it seemed natural to me,” Ladd said. “For them it was an art project, for me it was actually economic development.”
Having three pieces installed this year as opposed to five in 2010 allowed organizers to contribute more financing to the works, Ladd said.
He said the 2010 installations were impressive, but the 2011 editions hold their own uniqueness.
“We certainly took a step up this year in the type of projects because they’re much different than they were last year,” Ladd said. “I think Saturday is going to be a fascinating day for New Albany.”
Gillenwater said positive feedback from the project has extended beyond the community into other cities and states.
“One of our goals is to get folks who are interested in history to experience contemporary art, and vice versa,” she said. “We’ve been really excited with the public response.”
The first 250 people that stop at the new installation sites Saturday will be given a poster on which they can form their own screen print of the art pieces.
There will be walking maps available, and there are also cell phone applications designed for a scavenger hunt-style tour of the public art installations.
The art walk is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Carnegie Center at 812-944-7336.