Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and the Salem Public Art Commission (PAC) announce “TradeWind,” a public art installation in Derby Square, running July through September, 2016.
A call for artists and designers for this site specific installation around Old Town Hall and Derby Square brought in eighteen proposals. The team of op.AL, a trans-disciplinary practice from New York, formed by Jonathan A. Scelsa + Jennifer Birkeland, was selected by a PAC appointed Artist Selection Panel.
A talk by the artist is scheduled for Saturday, July 9th at 4pm on site in Derby Square with an opening reception at 6pm in Old Town Hall. Both events are free and open to the public.
“Salem has such a rich and important historic connection to the sea,” said Mayor Driscoll. “The concept for ‘TradeWind’ pays creative homage to that connection in a way that is playful, thoughtful, and expressive. I greatly look forward to the work’s installation near Old Town Hall and the continuation of our highly successful public art installation program.”
Water and wind built Salem. Water carried the fishermen in their boats to the shores of Salem to settle. Wind enabled Salem’s merchant ships to sail across the ocean. From these ships of the East India Company treasures and trade were brought and sold at Town Hall, building a seaside village into a city.
To honor and celebrate the role that these elements and Town Hall have played in the growth of the city, we have created a dynamic installation of spinning houses, combined to form the shape of Salem Town Hall. These individual houses are made in two colors: Caribbean Blue and Saffron Yellow. The blue invokes the exotic waters of far-flung lands that provided importers with treasures and spices – such as jewelry and saffron – referenced in the yellow houses.
In the daytime these objects will showcase the fluid and changeable effects of wind while serving as a tribute to the fact that cities only exist as the sum of their parts. At night, they are lit from within projecting onto the face of town hall, giving observers the privilege of glimpsing something that predecessors could not: growth.
This installation is both a nod to the past and a glimpse towards the future and a celebration of generations of individuals who have built and continue to build Salem.
op.AL is a trans-disciplinary New York practice, formed by Jonathan A. Scelsa + Jennifer Birkeland, seeking creative design solutions utilizing optics as a means of engaging the oppositions between Architecture and Landscape resulting in design solutions that strive to dis-integrate the subject-object relationship conventionally within the two disciplines. Jonathan is a Design Critic in the department of Architecture for University of Pennsylvania + the Rhode Island School of Design and Jennifer is a Visiting Professor at Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Landscape Architecture.
Stephanie Imbeau is an installation artist based in New York whose practice investigates the way individuals seek community, personal security and a place to belong. She uses representations of protective structures as anthropomorphisms to explore this universal human impulse. These basic forms of shelter also provide the framework for a conceptual mapping of the barriers drawn to create safety and claim meaning using physical spaces.
Hiroshi Jacobs is an artist and architect living and working in Washington, DC. He is a Lecturer in Architecture at The Catholic University of America, an architect with STUDIOS architecture, and the founder of HiJAC, a trans-disciplinary design & research collaborative. His designs and artwork have appeared in numerous publications and exhibitions, including Surface Magazine, Businessweek, Harvard GSD Platform, DesCours New Orleans, La Biennale di Venezia, (e)Merge, and the Harvard Arts First Festival. Hiroshi was selected as an outpost of OfficeUS for the American pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale, and was recently highlighted in DC Modern Luxury’s Best of DC 2015 Issue. Hiroshi has held academic faculty positions at Tulane University and in the Career Discovery program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
The team would like to thank and credit the following individuals and institutions who generously supported the construction of the project: District Design Lab, The Rhode Island School of Design Department of Architecture, The City College of New York Architecture Department, Andrea Kelly, Giacomo Sartorelli, William Allured, and Erin Wythoff.
Read more: http://www.salem.com/node/48833
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