Tuesday, June 10, 2014

ellsworth kelly lightbulb

I painted a 4-ft plywood lightbulb for the 2014 Newburgh Illuminated festival. The bulbs are being installed all over the city; mine will be at the Newburgh Urban Market on Sat June 14 & 21, and in front of Newburgh Art Supply the rest of the time.
From my post featuring last year's bulb, this was the organizer's vision for the project: 'Public art plays two roles in a community: It helps to create an authentic sense of place and serves as a tool for revitalization. The higher people rate the beauty of their community, the higher their overall level of community satisfaction. Human beings crave physical beauty. We look for it in so many of the things that surround us, and especially in the communities and places we live..'

As described on the website, the festival (with citywide events June 20-22) celebrates the 'rich history of the City as well as the great cultural diversity, to bring city residents together in celebration, to 'illuminate' and market the great assets of the City, to bring new people into the City thus resulting in increased tourism, new business and positive regional perception.
Newburgh holds a special place in American history as a city of innovation and invention. It was one of the earliest American cities to be electrified when Edison built its power plant and wired it up in 1884.'

My accompanying statement:
The artist Ellsworth Kelly was born in Newburgh in 1923.  His work, associated with Color Field and Minimalist painting throughout his long career, derives abstract form, contour, or color from observed reality. His use of shaped canvases translated flat brightly-colored forms into objects in themselves, creating an interaction between the pieces and the surrounding architecture. My lightbulb, with its irregular outline and hard-edged panels of color, and my effort to channel the process of composing a sequence of shapes, takes its inspiration from Kelly's work.

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