Posts Tagged ‘Four Corners Arts Center’

Gestures of that Other Life: Four Corners Sculpture Park

The Four Corners Arts Center has been busy this year, and their latest installment came boldly in the form of steel, making for a striking sculpture-park opening and offering poignant enthusiasm for the world of nature, sculpture, and poetry.

Staggered on the lawn of the Meeting House, muscular works of steel pose frozen amidst the trees in a deft combination of power and submission. A wolf, elk, deer, and porcupine stand juxtaposed in a shaded wood. These sculptures are the works of Wendy Klemperer, a Brooklyn based sculpture artist who has devoted her career to exploring the animal world and relationship of both beauty and beast. She found this most recent home for her work in the woodlands of Tiverton Four Corners where the landscape itself becomes part of the exhibit as it weaves through negative spaces in the work.

Wendy describes her animals as “raw, present, and absent,” all imagined with the potential for new life. But the process to create them begins in a junkyard. Wendy searches scraps for discarded pieces of workable metal to weld into sophisticated sculptures, transforming lifeless, tarnished metal into artistic splendor. Grand in posture and poise, her sculptures are both graceful and fierce and their presence is arresting.

Curator Kate Mullen found the space for this exhibit and likewise sparked the idea of mixing the sculpture with written word. She invited poet David O’Connell to create a poetic verse to accompany the exhibit. “It was my first on demand piece,” he said, but found a jolt of inspiration in the vocabulary of Wendy’s work. “Extricated,” he says was an unfamiliar word but eventually inspiring to his evocative poem. “Banished they Return to Us” weaves a story from multiple perspectives –the viewer and then eventually the animals themselves– capturing the essence of Wendy’s emotional art works: a transformation of something forgotten.

Kate Mullen wanted the exhibit to be accessible to children and adults alike, a vision come true as all ages gathered with fascination at the sculpture park opening. David O’Connell along with his wife will be offering a free poetry workshop for kids on August 6th.

You can view the sculpture exhibit anytime on the lawn of the Meeting House and also during the Four Corners Art’s Center’s 20th Anniversary Celebration this August 18th at the Meeting House. Kid friendly, teenager approved, and grownup favored, this exhibit is worth a trip to Four Corners this summer.

A Fertile City

It was a monument to acceptance, appreciation, and endurance. “Fertile City,” an outdoor exhibit presented by the Four Corners Arts Center on the lawn of the  Meeting House, opened Sunday night showcasing industrial works of art reflecting on the relationship between nature and its most obvious counterpart.

A subtle air of reverence blew through the trees as visitors wandered the open field strewn with steel sculpture and art work created by members of The Steel Yard. This 15th annual exhibit was dedicated to W. Houston Scott, a close community friend who passed away, but also passed on an inspiring passion for collecting and making, including his own collection of scrap metal to be used for future art works. The Steel Yard was an obvious choice for curator given its worldly vision for sustainable and experimental pursuits. Drake Patton and Alma Carrillo represented the Providence-based organization.

Fertile City is “poignant for these times” said Drake, speaking to the recent years’ global awareness for environmental preservation. The Steel Yard’s mission has high hopes of “inspiring a new generation of makers…while honoring Rhode Island’s history industrious roots.” Drake, director of The Steel Yard, said the “odd marriage…addresses concerns about what happens when urban gets too far into the rural.”

Representative artist and welding educator, Nora Rabins created a “ironic” display of McDonald’s arches amidst a bed of soil. “I wanted to bring something besides rusty metal,” said Nora. She spent time at the opening caring for her sculpture garden named, “Hamburger, Hamburger.” She plans to work on the garden throughout the summer.

The night also brought music from Woza Moya, a new band based out of Boston, featuring a multi-cultural fusion of African and American sound; the band stands for a freedom of sorts. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nyanhi Bote says music has always been a muse for him, inspiring resolution even during times of adversity. “ Music can raise up the spirit when times are tough,” says Nyanhi who does the compositions and vocals for the group. Woza Moya means Spirit Come.

James Weir announced the exhibit remembering Houston, and the  “vibrancy about him.” He also reflected on last years’ sculpture exhibit where a stolen sculpture (a seeming disaster) by artist Mimi Sammis ended in a new and beautiful work by Sammis. Between the voices of participants, vivid music and sculpture, the evening proved the inherent success of art to raise up the spirit.

The exhibit is open through Labor Day. Check out The Steel Yard’s amazing website, for information on their mission, classes, and upcoming events.