InLiquid artist members will be present throughout the programming at Spruce Street Harbor Park (SSHP) from the opening weekend on June 27, to the closing on August 31. The artists will make site-specific temporary art installations that will remain on site through the end of August. Seven of the selected artists participated in Art in the Open 2014 (AiO), which took place May 16-18 along the banks of the Schuylkill river. AiO is a juried art event celebrating how artists interact with their urban environment. The selected group of artists are invited to take their studio practice outside to produce work in the open, create a temporary presentation, and interact with visitors. In addition to the AiO artists, Melissa Haims will be creating “yarn bomb” installations to enliven the space and create intrigue. The presence of the artists at work will create a uniquely engaging experience for visitors that ties into the larger citywide art event of AiO.
The eight artists will be individually scheduled to coordinate with the programming at the Spruce Street Harbor Park throughout the summer. The installations created for the Spruce Street Harbor Park will be an extension of the artists’ projects created during AiO. A brief description of each artist’s art practice and AiO project is included below.
For the opening weekend, June 27-29, three artists have been scheduled for the three days.
Friday, June 27: Melissa Maddonni Haims is a fiber artist who creates soft sculptures and large scale knit and crocheted installations using recycled or reclaimed textiles. She was not involved in AiO, but she is an active “yarn bomber”. Yarn bombing is the act of wrapping an inanimate object in colorful yarn. It is surprising and pleasing, in that it offers energy and intrigue to a space. It is environmentally friendly and temporary. At the SSHP, Melissa yarnbombed the flagpoles lining the boardwalk on the path along the waterfront.
Saturday, June 28: Barbara Gesshel is an artist creating paintings and drawings in an organic manner that blends the line between realism and abstraction. Often, she involves natural objects in her mark making process; for instance, making a drawing by mounting paper directly onto the bark of a tree, or creating a painting by covering a twig in paint and moving it across a canvas. During AiO, Barbara roamed along the Schuylkill Trail with supplies creating many works spontaneously inspired. At SSHP, Barbara created a site-specific painting installed on the fencing along the deck. The painting is inspired by the patterns of water that are also found in organic forms such as wood and skin, a theme she first explored as a muralist in LA in the 60’s.
Sunday, June 29: C Pazia Mannella is a fiber artist that creates work that can be adapted to its environment. The display and placement of a piece becomes as important as the physical make-up. A change in the environment changes the reading of the art work. During AiO, she involved the landscape of the river park into multiple site-specific pieces, being constructed throughout the weekend. The spiraling organic form was installed as a winding maze along the Skuylkill Banks during AiO 2014. For the Spruce Street Park, it becomes more condensed and sculptural, mimicking the shapes of the Christopher Columbus memorial in the park behind it.
InLiquid will align the remaining artists’ schedules with the Spruce Street Harbor events calendar throughout the summer. The installations created during the visit will remain on site through the end of August.
Sunday, July 6: Nancy Agati creates work that combines sculpture and drawing. Making creative use of materials, she explores the ephemeral imagery of textures and patterns found in nature. For AiO 2014, she invited and instructed visitors to help in carving a large woodcut, called Churn Ripple Flow, based on the pattern of light reflecting off the river. At SSHP, Nancy invites visitors to create prints from the woodcut with her on site. She will then install the woodcut on site as an art object itself.
Saturday, July 19: Mat Tomezsko is an artist making process-oriented paintings inspired by natural and urban textures and patterns. The paintings are made with spray paint, creating a tension by mimicking nature with a very unnatural medium. During AiO, he made a site-specific painting installation intended to compliment an existing free-standing wall. At the SSHP, he will install a weather-proof painting on canvas onto an existing structure in the park.
Sunday, July 20: Ana Vizcarra Rankin is a multi-media artist whose work straddles the line between painting, drawing, and sculpture. Her work draws from natural imagery to explore themes of transience, homesickness, and mysticism. During AiO, she create objects she calls “Starlights”, which are hand painted star maps constructed to collect solar power and emit a glow at night, illuminating points of light where the stars are on the map. Ana is fabricating laser-cut Starlights through NextFab to be installed in SSHP.
Saturday, July 26: Tyler Kline is an installation artist using provocative materials, chance, and error to create abstract objects and environments that border on the familiar but defies a straight-forward interpretation. During AiO, he created a moveable installation out of wood and spray paint on the apex of the Schuylkill trail, emphasizing location, and creating a sculpture that was also an environment.
Sunday, July 27: Susan Benarcik hand-crafts architectural sculptures using discarded man-made and natural materials. Her work explores natural forms, mimicking nature in a way that the objects are at once natural-looking and other-worldly. During AiO, she gathered materials from the Schuylkill banks and created several site-specific hanging illuminated sculptural installations.