Although I won’t be returning to Grand Rapids to exhibit with SiTE:LAB this September, I have been invited to partake in a new project this fall called 54Jeff.
SiTE:LAB’s founders Paul Amenta and Tom Clinton have to put together a design competition to find a new purpose for the former Grand Rapids Public Museum located at 54 Jefferson. (This is the building where I exhibited within the Mammal Hall last year, creating 27 architectural interventions within the habitat dioramas.) Since 1994, the Museum has been closed to the public and now the challenge is to find a new way for the building to serve the public. 54Jeff wants to know what innovative ways this can be done.
I am honored to be a juror for this competition along with Reed Kroloff, Eva Franch i Gilabert, and Steven Zacks. Looking forward to being a part of this exciting new venture!
Once again, my talented friend Marc Lins traveled to Grand Rapids with me to photograph my latest project. For those of you who weren’t able to make it out SiTE:LAB, I present a sampling of photographs from Habitat. Cheers!
The jury is in and I am so honored to have been awarded the 2D prize by Tyler Green for ArtPrize 2012. Going into this year’s exhibition, I had no expectations of winning – all I wanted to do was put on a great show. My dealer, Cristin Tierney, challenged me to further my work, to use this wonderful opportunity SiTE:LAB afforded to expand my use of materials, scale, and concept. Plus, I was so lucky to have such a unique venue to exhibit where I had the freedom to try out new ideas.
I am extremely grateful to all the people who helped make Habitat happen including Bob Rogers, James Balkon, Lucia Minniti, Augustín Podesta, and Dave Prinsen, to Paul Amenta, Tom Clinton and Grant Carmichael for inviting me to exhibit, to all the SiTE:LAB artists for being a part of an amazing exhibition, to Gayle DeBruyn for her hospitality, to Tyler Green and Lisa Freiman for their nominations, to Jerry Saltz for the hilarious photograph, to Cristin Tierney and Maria Kucinski for all their direction and motivation, and to Florencia Minniti for all her support.
And finally, my sincerest thanks to everyone who visited, participated and engaged with Habitat. Cheers to you!
Although I wasn’t there to see him, New York Magazine Art Critic and my former professor, Jerry Saltz stopped by SiTE:LAB and explored Habitat. He took this photo within the Moose Diorama (getting my vote for the most creative pose yet) and described SiTE:LAB as, “Derelict & shuttered 1938 natural history museum in Grand Rapids. Best location for an art show that I have E V E R seen in this country.” Thanks, Jerry!
On Tuesday evening, Site:Lab opened its doors to the public. There was a great turnout and I was really thrilled with the way that people – both kids and adults – were interacting with all the various dioramas in Habitat. Here are a few moments I captured…
Many thanks to the crew who has helped me with another massive undertaking at SiTE:LAB. I am so pleased with how everything turned out. Thanks to Paul Amenta, Bob Rogers, James Balkon, Florencia Minniti, Florencia’s sister, Lucia Minniti and her boyfriend, Augustín Podesta, and Dave Prinsen. You guys rock!
For the deer diorama, the glass window opens into the inside of the diorama away from the actual threshold. The window pane is mounted 90 degrees to the floor, causing a reflection in the glass that merges with the background. When I return to Grand Rapids, I will remove the wooden brackets on the window pane. The space from the actual threshold to the new position of the window is covered with ceiling tiles that are illuminated from underneath.