Earth Works / Body Extension (Outdoor Sculpture: Project 3)

For the Earth Works project, we will take inspiration from the recent work of Riitta Ikonen (Finland) and Karoline Hjorth (Norway). These two artists create sculptural body extensions that unite the human form with it’s environment in a poetic and sometimes humourous way. (Scroll down for images)

Timeline: Your homework is to begin collecting natural materials. You could also begin construction on your body extension over the long weekend.

We will spend Tuesday-Wednesday constructing forms in the studio. Thursday will be spent on-site in the garden. The goal of this project will be the integration of your sculptural form within the environment of the garden. We will also spend time on documentation that day.

Think about it as creative camouflage.

Presentation Outline

Presentations of your public art proposal are planned for the last day of class Friday, May 30th.

They should be between 10-15 minutes in length and cover the following information in a sequential format:

1. Introduction with information outlining your specific call for entry: place, space, requirements (what they are asking for) (3-5 minutes)

2. Your proposal for the work (bullet points), including images, sketches, or mock-ups in a digital format (3-5 minutes). Note: this could include a brief summary of your artist statement or statement of interest.

3. Support materials: images of past work, material resources, and budget. (3-5min)

I would prefer these presentations in a pdf format, powerpoint if necessary.


Final Draft: Public Art Proposal

The final draft of your public art proposal will be due next Tuesday, May 27th.

It should include all pertinent information that is related to your specific CALL FOR ENTRY or RFQ such as:

The original call for entry or RFQ
Letter of introduction
Images (your past work and sketches of proposed sculptural work)
Artist Statement
Statement of Interest
Material Resources

Structure and Skin (Outdoor Sculpture: Project 2)

  The Basque Health Department Headquarters in Bilbao, Spain

In this project, we will investigate the relationship between surface and structure. Today we will begin with a demonstration using fabric stapled to a simple frame, we will then travel to the garden where our projects will be sited.

The first step of your assignment is to design a simple frame based on a basic geometric form or shape. The second step is to stretch fabric over your frame, thereby creating a dynamic surface. The third and final step is to install your sculpture on-site. Note: some projects will require staking into the ground due to their wind resistance, plan accordingly.

You will be asked to provide your own fabric and/or plastic for this project. It should be lightweight and easily stretchable.


Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Wrapped Reichstag in Berlin (1971-95):
The Gates in Central Park, 2006:
MG 4135 March 2
The Umbrellas, Japan – USA” (1984-91)
In response to his critics Christo says, “I am an artist, and I have to have courage … Do you know that I don’t have any artworks that exist? They all go away when they’re finished. Only the preparatory drawings and collages are my works an almost legendary character. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.” – from “Living with Art” , Mike Geitlin



Cheekwood Field Trip – Re-Scheduled for Tuesday May 20th
Admission is $14

We will plan to meet there at 11am and explore the site until 2pm, then head back to Clarksville. Here is a quote from the website specifically about their outdoor sculpture collection:
“The Woodland Sculpture Trail extends the contemporary art collection into nature, focusing on a kind of intimate, outdoor art not commonly found in American museums. 15 sculptures – by regional, national, and international artists – were acquired or commissioned for the trail. Some are extremely unusual, site-specific pieces such as a gateway of water, cloud, and fire by Eric Orr; a Native American environment by regional artist Yone Simor; and an underground “sky piece” by James Turrell. Other artists represented include Ulrich Ruckreim (Germany), Sophie Ryder (England), Ian Hamilton Finlay (Scotland), George Rickey, Doug Hollis, John Scott and two local artists along with an incredible glass bridge by Siah Armajani.”
Blue Pehser by James Turrell:

Simple Signs (Outdoor Sculpture: Project 1)

In her Ted Talk Alicia Eggert refers to her desire to create art that can be understood by as many people as possible. Language has the ability to be specific and clear in ways that contemporary art often falls short.

For this project we will be creating text-based art signs using the laser cutter along with simple wood construction techniques. We will be following a specific template and design strategy for our signs, but what they communicate is up to you.

Choose one word (or possibly a short phrase) that can communicate something profound and/or positive to as many people as possible. You want to appeal to a wide audience with this.

Think about Miranda July’s banner project. How can your sign (and it’s strategic placement on campus) change or improve someone’s day?


Outdoor Sculpture Syllabus and Schedule (tentative)

Monday-Thursday Project: Simple Signs and an introduction to RFQs and where to find them.

HW: Gather materials for the course and begin a rough draft of your RFQ (Due Friday)

Friday: Morning: Install, Document, and Critique Simple Signs
Afternoon: Group Proposal Writing Workshop w/ revisions

Monday: Field trip to Cheekwood to see their outdoor sculpture collection.

Tuesday-Friday: Project: Structure and Skin (working with simple armatures and stretching fabric over them. Planning for a specific site: the University Garden

Thursday-Friday: Install in University Garden, build on-site, Critique and Document, Final Public Art Proposal and Presentation due next week

M-Thursday Project: Earth Works (using natural materials to create outdoor sculpture).

Friday Morning: Meet at Garden to document and critique the earth works.
Afternoon: Presentation of Public Art proposals