I asked New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center security officials to let me walk the roof of the convention center with some gear. It wasn’t easy. And there are some stories here. But I wanted to use a GIGAPAN to create the largest panoramic composite photograph I could imagine.
In addition to my regular duties as Associate Professor of Animation and 3D Design at Ramapo College of New Jersey, I’ve started to reach out to educators and artists in different ways. I believe strongly in the concept of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math). Artists have always been innovators and inventors.
Based on Temporal Voice, I collaborated with Director Peter Campbell to create a 15-channel video installation for his production Yellow Electras at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York. Video editing assistant – Laura Keller.
The Jewish Museum of New Jersey (JMNJ) and City Without Walls (cWOW) presented “Public Art in Newark” a panel discussion about the past, present, and future of public art in the City of Newark.
The panel is a collaboration that marks the closings of the JMNJ’s “Hard Times, Good Times: The Art of Michael Lenson” (on December 20) and cWOW’s “Ready to Unveil” , two exhibitions that address themes relating to public art in Newark, NJ.
Water! Water! a collaboration between Ann LePore and Anibal Pella is pictured above, and two additional proposals of LePore’s: Newark Orphan Asylum and Light-Emitting Clematis. All three projects involve large-scale light installations that are viewed at night.
Panelists include: Chakaia Booker (artist), Matthew Gosser (JMNJ Board member, New Jersey Institute of Technology artist and curator), Ann LePore (Ramapo College of New Jersey and artist), Sheila McKoy (New Jersey Transit), Linwood Oglesby (Director, Newark Arts Council), Damon Rich (Newark City Planning Division and artist), Mary Ellen Scherl (Sculptors Guild and artist), with Ben Goldman (cWOW and artist) as moderator.
ArtReach is cWOW’s award-winning mentoring program that nurtures the next generation of artists and art leaders. The program exposes high school students to the real life of working artists. The artist helps the student complete an art project for professional presentation, while the student assists the artist in his/her studio with work that might not otherwise be possible.
Miriam wanted to paint large, mural-sized paintings of scenes from back home in Ghana. She learned fast as we experimented with priming and sanding large, industrial canvases until we had created a surface for her. I also taught her how to edit videos and she helped me log my tapes. Afterward, we exhibited our work together at City Without Walls.
While mentoring Mariam, I created a new series of landscape videos which document the contrast between the Meadowlands Environmental Center and the adjoining active landfill. In Meadowland, the time and audio are fragmented and pulsating, gradually shifting the focus from a tiny, blue, jewel- like bird to a piece of earth-moving equipment working nearby.
The personal bonds that resulted from this relationship created a powerful and rewarding experience for me and I hope the same for my mentee, Miriam. I think the lush landscapes we sought out for our works were no coincidence.