Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Press Release South Branch Library, Argentine, Kansas Argentine Exterior Wall Installation Look Up, Look Down, Look All Around is a nine panel bronze installation designed and created by Michael Wickerson. The large castings were poured during the month of June at the Kansas City Art Institute in the sculpture foundry located in and around the Volker Complex.
In collaboration with HWA, Hoefer Wysocki Architects, Michael Wickerson began discussions with Sally Murguia at the original Argentine Library during the month of December 2011. Initial discussions and meetings with a range of Library staff and Kelly Construction consultants developed into a clear vision as to what the parameters of the commission were to follow. However artistic license and freedom, along with the cooperation of the committee members, allowed Wickerson to develop a unique concept for the bronze castings into a teaching tool. Two students at the Kansas City Art Instititute, Keyan Alemifar and Lizzy Olson, would have the opportunity to see the project through during a three week summer directed study focused on molding, casting and finishing the artworks. While testing their patience, endurance, and determination, these two students (assisted by foundry chain operator, Rob Frankhouse) were able to participate in the project from start to installation. In addition to the technical training, students shared in the concept development and were rewarded in being allowed to model two of the nine panels from wax to bronze. In turn, they were both awarded a stipend for their personal artistic merit from Wickerson. The concept seemed simple enough, Look Up, Look Down, Look All Around. Wickerson decided to literally frame these three actions between the castings of vertical stacks of "checked out" books. Towering to the sky these books imply active reading and research, climbing to knowledge, and teetering and swaying in one's attempt to perceive, experience, and understand the world around us. The first tryptic focuses on the perception and intuition of the very young. The need to look up, the desire to watch something rise, and the knowledge gained from perception drive the mind towards one's own particular talents and skill. The second tryptic focuses on the act of practicing and gaining skills over time. The novice hunching over their open books, watching their instrument while they play, and honing their skills provide the vital experience needed for one to demonstrate and develop their abilities. And finally, the last tryptic slips into the inner workings of the mind. Drawing from memory and concentrating on abstract and difficult concepts, this grouping of relief bronze points toward the "wax analogy of the mind". True and false knowledge is imprinted into the mind of everyone. The geographer, doctor, engineer, and poet rely on their ability to draw from experience, and life itself, in order to come to understand the concepts they know and the terms that must come to terms with. - Michael Wickerson, Summer 2012 "Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh. the thinks you can think up if only you try!" - Dr. Suess