Saturday, April 28, 2012

I get by with a little help from my friends...

In my backyard
I seriously have too much fun  installing my work-as you are about to see in this blog entry. First, the back story.  My MFA thesis piece, Just Passing Through, 2011, was accepted for the Shore Institute of Contemporary Art (SICA) 2012 Sculptoure Show. For the past several years,  SICA has been  creating a sculpture park throughout the downtown area of the city of Long Branch and Asbury Park. Both towns are shore towns and thousands of visitors will be viewing the work outside while on vacation at the shore. Being part of an outdoor sculpture garden has been a dream of mine. I love being outside and having my work on display in an urban, outdoor setting is very thrilling. The work will be seen by those who may not necessarily have ever gone to a gallery to see. Hopefully, people will interact with the work and take  a moment to examine the interiority of these once mighty big trees and perhaps contemplate their own interiority and morality. It makes me giggle with joy to think that so many people will be able to view my work. Anyhow, I have to move my pieces from my  back yard to across town near Ocean Grove. No easy task. When I moved them from the yard to Philly for the MFA show, I rented a U-haul truck with a loading dock on the back. Today, I needed a bit more help from my friends.

Matt Armstrong
Matt Armstrong, of Armstrong Tree Service, was the perfect friend to help. He's capable of moving the work and has a big truck with a really cool lift. Putting my complete trust in someone to lift my work up and over and then into a truck was really nerve racking and exhilarating for me. I have said numerous times that "if the work "dies" that I am okay with it." My philosophy was  put to the test. Seeing those logs that I so carefully chopped, hacked, cleaved, and scorched become air borne was amazingly breathing taking. I wanted to look and not look at the same time. Strangely in all this emotion, I felt more like a real artist than ever before this time. I suppose it is because I had memories of Richard Serra's work and Ursula von Rydingsvard's work being lifted in a similar fashion; it felt good to be in such familiar company. Here's a video of the experience as well as a few photos. 

this one, Auctoritas, has a large crack and needed to be strapped to the dolly for re-enforcements  from splitting 

perfect light

So we drive through Asbury Park. Matt, with the work in the big truck, is following Peter and me in  our SUV and we arrive at Wesley Lake, just a few steps away from Moonstruck Resturant. The backdrop for Just Passing Through is Ocean Grove. The setting couldn't be more lovely. Matt starts unloading the pieces; Gravitas is first. (Each piece was named after one of the Roman virtues.) He is going to drop Gravitas onto the concrete pad by extending the long metal arm. It is so cool to see this. Everyone is watching. Really - people slow down in their cars, pedestrians and dogs stop to watch. It is a specatale of the best portions. Matt's dad, Gene, shows up to help. Gene parks his truck perpendicular to the street  and this causes more people to wonder what is going on. Doug Ferrari , the executive director of SICA, is smiling and I am laughing with delight - it is just so much fun. The work has a beautiful public home for the summer of 2012. 

Gravitas and me

The arrangement will be changed a bit. I couldn't think about the arrangement because my brain so overfilled with excitement of the day. Thankfully, my friend Kristin Osgood Lamelas has a keen eye and made some suggestions to the layout. To view the work in person, stop by for the opening reception on  May 12; or plan a visit to summer get-a-away to Asbury Park. 

A really special thank you must be said. I couldn't have done this job without the help of my husband, Peter, along with Gene and Matt Armstrong.  The idea of an artist working alone in the studio, cut off from the world, just isn't reality. Artist need friends to help - without them, how could I get by?


  1. Congratulations Laura! What a lovely honor. And it was fun to see it all come together. Thanks for sharing!