P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2003
September 2, 2003
Earth, Wind, and Desire: Nature Park in Kidspace at MASS MoCA
Featuring Sculpture by Victoria Palermo and Rob de Mar
(North Adams, Mass.) Astroturf, rubber, grass, and moss and will transform Kidspace at MASS MOCA MoCA into a lush, landscaped park for its next exhibition, Nature Park, opening October 2, 2003. Nature Park, part one of the two-part series of exhibitions in Kidspace collectively titled Earth, Wind, and Desire, will combine feature the engaging and provocative the nature art of Victoria Palermo and Rob De de Mar. These two artists will share an outlet of fun and educational scientific and artistic ideas.
For this first part of the Earth, Wind, and Desire, the Kidspace gallery will be transformed into an indoor, human-made park. An Astroturf path will gently lead visitors through an exhibit of sculpture by Palermo and de Mar, who share an interest in the relationship between the built and the natural environments.
Victoria Palermo, a Queensbury, New York,, artist, creates sculptures in grass, moss, and natural rubber using these natural materials to produce furniture and abstract sculpture. On the other hand, Palermo also also uses an artificial material — synthetic rubber — to create a forest that has been cast from actual birch trees. The contrast in Palermo's choice of materials and subject matter encourages viewers to think about dualities that exist in natural and human-made surroundings.
Brooklyn-based artist Rob de Mar uses clay, stone, steel, flock, wire, and miniature model trees to create whimsical 3-D landscapes. He presents fantastic built environments that seamlessly integrate human-made elements (i.e., roads and cell phone towers) with rolling green fields and forests. De Mar's work might features a green mountainsides pierced by a stark, seemingly endless blacktop roads, or a and futuristic lush landscapes with bulbous hills and fluffy white clouds that grow strangely from metal poles.
Visitors to Nature Park will be invited to consider the similarities between ways to viewing art and nature in similar ways. Questions will be posted throughout the gallery to help analyze the sculptures as the way a scientist might examine something from nature. Art-making activities in the gallery that relate to the exhibit will enable visitors to create their own three-dimensional landscapes and abstract sculptures using clay, moss, and other natural materials.
A public opening reception for Nature Park is scheduled for Thursday, October 2,nd from 3:30 to 6:00 pm. Refreshments will be served, and visitors will have the opportunity to meet the artists, Victoria Palermo and Rob de Mar.
Victoria Palermo , sculptor residing in Queensbury, NY, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Art art from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont. In addition to her work as a professional artist, she is an assistant professor of art at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Previously she was a scenic scene painter and art department director for Adirondack Scenic, Inc., in Glens Falls, N.Y.. She has been awarded artist fellowship grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, and completed an artist's residency in residence at YADDO in Saratoga Springs, NY. Victoria Palermo has had her work in solo and group shows in such galleries and museums as: The Arts Center at Troy, N.Y.; Pierogi 2000, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; ART/OMI Sculpture Park, Ghent, N.Y.; Galerie Du Tableau, Marseilles, France; One Mellon Bank Center, Pittsburgh, PAPenn.; the Schenectady Museum, Schenectady, N.Y.; and the Rice Gallery, Albany, N.Y.; and White Columns and Art General, New YorkY in New York.
Brooklyn-based sculptor Rob de Mar holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York's School of Visual Arts, and has been an artist- in- residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, as well as the Vermont Studio Center. In addition to his work as a professional artist, he is a set dresser for movies and television commercials. He has created furniture, gates, and various settings for such movies as The Royal Tenenbaums starring Ben Stiller and Gene Hackman, and Birth, starring Nicole Kidman. He is currently represented by the Clementine Gallery, in New York. De Mar New York, NY. Rob had solo and group exhibitions in such galleries and museums as: White Columns, New York ; PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, N.Y.; Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York N.Y.; Portland Museum of Art in Maine, Portland, Maine; Wave Hill Glyndor Gallery, Bronx, N.Y.; Nylon Gallery, London, England; Inman Gallery, Houston;, Texas; Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Conn.; and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, Penn. Reviews of his work have appeared in Art in America, Flash Art, The New Art Examiner, and The New York Times.
Part II of Earth, Wind, and Desire is entitled Wind Farm and will open March 4, 2004. A sea of metallic and colorful kinetic sculptures juxtaposed with large photos of wind turbines will transform the Kidspace gallery into an indoor "wind farm". The exhibition will include photographs by Carrie Baker, and kinetic sculptures by artists Tim Prentice and Pedro S. De Movellan. The two Earth, Wind and Desire exhibitions and their related programming Through two exhibitions and related programming, Earth, Wind, and Desire will encourage students, teachers, and families to reconsider how humans harness and control the natural environment. Art will be a catalyst for lively discussions and the foundation for a rich array of environmental and aesthetic investigations. such as: deforestation, urban development and the interaction of technology and nature in rural settings; land use; renewable energy strategies; and the aesthetics of technology in nature. The art will encourage new interpretations of ecological preservation and design intervention as humans find new ways to engage, alter and preserve their surroundings.
This fall school year Kidspace will continue its partnership with the North Adams School District (Greylock, Sullivan, and Brayton Elementary Schools) and North Berkshire School Union (Clarksburg, Gabriel Abbott Memorial, and Savoy Elementary Schools.). A full-scale study on the arts and the environment will take place with these schools. In addition to their visit to Kidspace, students will have the opportunity to work with the artists and to explore environmental topics with with Williams College staff and students during in visits to Hopkins Forest. They will may also be able visit the Searsburg Wind Farm, and to visit the three museums (the Clark Art Institute, the Williams College Museum of Art, or MASS MoCA) to further explore the arts and the environment. Curriculum materials, educational resources, and programs have been developed by Kidspace staff to complement the exhibition.
Kidspace at MASS MoCA is a joint program of the Williams College Museum of Art, the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute, and MASS MoCA. Additional funding has been provided in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (a state agency), the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant to Williams College, and the Brownrigg Charitable Trust in memory of Lynn Laitman.
After Thursday, October 2, Kidspace's public hours will be Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 P.M., and Thursdays, 3 to 5 P.M., plus additional hours aont holidays (add holiday hours). Please call Kidspace at (413) 664-4481 x8131 for more details on hours, programs, and exhibitions. Admission to Kidspace is free.
MASS MoCA, housed on a 13-acre campus of restored 19th-century factory buildings, is the largest center for contemporary art in the country. During the winter, MASS MoCA's galleries are open every day except Tuesdays, from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. Admission is $9 for adults, $3 for children 6-16, free for children under 6 and free for members at all times. For additional information, call (413) 662-2111 or visit www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall St. in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
For Immediate Release