Sunday, April 21, 2013

Install It 3: above and below just a few days away

Welcome to the third year of Install It, the installation art component of Artista Vista. 
This year six artists are creating works that will be located in and around the former train tunnel, now part of the Vista Greenway.  
The artists Michaela Pilar Brown, Amanda Ladymon, Bri Kinard, Kara Gunter, Wendell George Brown and Kimberly Bookman were asked to respond to Washington which was once a major a business and social street for the African-American community, home to the Zion Baptist Church, an African-American state fair, restaurants, funeral homes, a theater and the Richard Samuel Roberts photography studio and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement.
The tunnel runs directly beneath Washington Street and serves as an apt metaphor for the hidden history of the street above.
The artist will are not making directly didactic pieces, but are exploring ideas of overcoming challenges, breaking free of social and political confinement, how we are all connected and the ways we are connected. They are working in a variety of mediums: photography, plaster casting, natural materials, ceramics and even tar. The works are being made specifically for this exhibition and space. 
The exhibition opens April 25 in conjunction with the Artista Vista gallery crawl Thursday night from 5 - 9  p.m. and the artists and I will be there. A tour of the exhibition with the artist and curator will take place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27. The exhibition will be on display until MAY 24 and can be seen when the tunnel is open from dawn to dusk. Admission to the exhibition and all related events is free.  
Installation art was an important part of Artista Vista in its early years, but as the area developed space to do such work became more scarce. (When Artista Vista trains still ran through the middle of the Vista and through the tunnel; what’s now the Blue Marlin Restaurant was the Amtrak station.) The Vista Guild decided in 2011 to bring back an installation show for the 20th anniversary of Artista Vista. That exhibition, mostly held inside in a building on Gervais St., was a success and Install It was back for in 2012 with works located outdoors throughout the Vista which allowed the show to remain on display for a month and provide more public access. This year we hope to have brought together the best of those two by placing the works outdoors and easily accessible for a month and having all the works in one central location. 
We extend our thanks to the City of Columbia for allowing the use of the Vista Greenway.

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