Perpetual Wonder is a large kinetic installation piece that will be displayed at ArtPrize 2012 in Grand Rapids, Michigan (www.artprize.org). Please join me in bringing Perpetual Wonder into being. Thank you!
Hi! I'm Jennifer Lee. I'm an artist and musician based in Oakland, California. I'm the owner of Muitapaz Music (www.jennifer-lee.net), and I'm the creator of Buggzart: a world of ever-expanding inspiration (www.buggzart.com). You'll find more information about me and my team below. First, I'll tell you more about the artwork and the installation. Read on!
sections you'll find below:
Perpetual Wonder is an interactive kinetic sculpture, approximately 9 feet wide by 15 feet high, featuring the two images you see below. The "canvases" for these images will not be solid, but rather a collection of 240 metal panels linked together with rings and suspended from above. (One image occupies the front side of the piece, the other image occupies the back side.) Viewers are welcome to set the panels in motion by gently pushing on them.
The 240 individual panels are aluminum squares (8” x 8”), with unique images printed on the surfaces of either side. Each of the pieces stands alone as a work of art in and of itself (see images below). Together the smaller images create the two large images. The reflective metal surfaces have a beautiful shimmery, opalescent appearance that brings the piece to life, whether still or in motion. When touched, a wave-like undulation alters the images in unexpected ways, creating a magical experience for the viewer.
Perpetual Wonder integrates design, color, and the written word. The words incorporated in the image on one side are my own. The words incorporated in the image on the other side are those of the mystic poet Hafiz. Among them is one of my favorite Hafiz quotes: Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.
Perpetual Wonder is a piece about awakening to the miraculous nature of each and every moment, and awakening to the divinity within us. It's an invitation to enter a state of consciousness in which beauty, curiosity, awe and wonder take center stage.
This project arises from a strong inspiration within me that has a momentum, the likes of which I’ve never before experienced. It’s a wild and wonderful adventure that I’m happy and grateful to be on. And I’m deeply appreciative of your interest and support.
Please join me in bringing Perpetual Wonder into being! Thank you!
[I’m receiving guidance from Steve Jara, Senior Designer and Fabricator at Enlightage Design (www.enlightage.com), to assist me with the technical aspects of creating Perpetual Wonder and to ensure the structural safety of the project. Contractor and large-scale metal sculptor James Kushera is also acting as a consultant on this project.]
THE EVENT: Perpetual Wonder installation at ArtPrize® 2012
Last fall, I (Jennifer Lee, the musician, that is) did a Midwest tour that included Grand Rapids, Michigan. Serendipity and synchronicity were clearly working their magic when I planned this little adventure as my time in Grand Rapids coincided with a wonderful annual event called ArtPrize®.
As described on the ArtPrize® website: “ArtPrize® is an international art competition and social experiment where anyone can be an artist, any space can be a venue, and everyone has a voice. . . . The platform accelerates the creative exchange of ideas by providing a simple framework for action. If an artist has an idea and a venue can put it on display, action happens. They decide. As the entries are judged both by public vote and an internationally regarded group of arts professionals, a massive conversation erupts.”
How fabulous does that sound!?! Having experienced it, live and in person in 2011, I can tell you that it is, indeed, quite fabulous! The buzz of creative energy, as well as the art itself, was tremendously inspiring.
I decided, then and there, that I would enter a piece in ArtPrize 2012. That piece is Perpetual Wonder, and I’m very happy to report that I have, in hand, a signed contract from my ArtPrize venue of choice – a very hip place called “The B.O.B.” (www.thebob.com). This is where Perpetual Wonder will be installed (or, in ArtPrize lingo, The B.O.B. will be “hosting” my creation.) The B.O.B. is right in the middle of all the action – one of the most prestigious and highly trafficked venues in Art Prize. . . and they selected me! Well, actually they selected Perpetual Wonder. . . but I’m taking it very personally!
And it gets better! On August 15th I was informed that the specific site at The B.O.B. that's been designated for Perpetual Wonder is the most centrally-located, high-traffic, high-visibility spot in all of ArtPrize. Wow!
Here’s a link to my profile on the ArtPrize website:
The B.O.B. (an acronym for Big Old Building) is located in downtown Grand Rapids. The 70,000-square-foot, four- story, red brick building was constructed in 1903 as Judson's grocery warehouse. It stood vacant for decades before The Gilmore Collection began its transformation, saving it from demolition. Its casual appeal, large size and historic charm have given The B.O.B. landmark / destination status in downtown Grand Rapids. Ambitious, expansive, and versatile, The B.O.B. offers a uniquely personal experience for every guest who walks through the door.
I’m launching this KickStarter campaign to raise funds for the creation and installation of Perpetual Wonder. The expenses include the following:
- materials for the small prototype
- printing of the metal panels
- shipping the panels to Michigan
- hardware to assemble the piece
- building materials for the structure that will hold the piece
- elements of the lighting system
- insurance for the piece
- technical consultation
- travel expenses (airplane tickets and car rental)
- lodging in Grand Rapids
The expenses for the items listed above, plus the cost of the rewards I’m offering, as well as the fees paid to KickStarter and to Amazon, bring the total cost for this project to over $26,000.
Having run a KickStarter campaign that expired prior to this goal being achieved, I'm now launching this KickStarter campaign, with a much shorter time-line and a lower goal amount. It's abundantly clear to me that Perpetual Wonder is meant to come into being (it's a stronger, clearer inspiration than any other I've ever experienced), so I will find a way! And having support for a part of the funding is better than no support at all.
Although the previous campaign was not successful in terms of the goal being achieved and my actually receiving any funds, it was phenomenally successful in that it showed me the magnitude of love and support offered to me by my beautiful community. Not only did my friends, family and colleagues (as well as some patrons of the arts with whom I was previously unacquainted) rally together to pledge a whopping $13,031 (a perfect palindrome - gotta love that!), many of them also contacted me in the days following the expiration of that campaign to encourage me to keep going, to tell me how much they love what I'm doing, and to tell me that they're behind me all the way, no matter what. Wow! I am deeply blessed.
a word about KickStarter: It's an all or nothing proposition: I have to make or exceed my goal amount or I receive nothing and no money changes hands. (This is why some may view the previous campaign as "unsuccessful", although the results achieved brought me nothing but joy and gratitude.) So, if you find Perpetual Wonder inspiring, please tell your friends and direct them to my KickStarter campaign page. Thank you!
The shimmery, opalescent surface of the metal panels that comprise Perpetual Wonder is an enchanting aspect of the piece. I wanted my rewards to include this quality as well, and I’ve managed to achieve this with many of the items I’m offering.
The metal prints (among the rewards offered for donors of $200 or more) have the very same magical quality since they’re made of the very same material that the panels themselves are made of. The 8” x 8” metal prints are exact copies of panels from Perpetual Wonder. The 12” x 20” metal prints are miniature versions of the front side and back side images of Perpetual Wonder.
The bookmark, greeting cards, magnets, poster, mounted prints and calendar are all printed on material that has a metallic/opalescent finish which mimics the look of the metal prints, and they’re all exceptionally beautiful.
There are two different 5-piece sets of mounted prints:
- Sun Series:
- two 5.75” x 5.75” pieces
- one 8” x 8” piece
- one 7.25” x 7.25 inch piece
- one 9.75” x 11” piece
- Spectrum Series:
- one 5” x 7” piece
- one 6” x 9” piece
- two 8” x 8” pieces
one 8” x 12” piece
The Buggzart Inspiration Cards are not printed on metallic/opalescent finish material, but they’ve got some magic of their own. And they’re deeply inspiring (thus the name). It’s a set of thirty 3.75” x 3.75” cards with inspirational images (examples can be viewed at www.buggzart.com) and inspirational words – quotes from Rumi, Hafiz, Einstein, Ghandi, Emerson, Joseph Campbell, and others. The cards are packaged in a cute little tin with a hinged-lid (kinda’ retro). They’re beautiful, uplifting and, well... inspiring!
Being that I’m a musician as well as a visual artist, I felt compelled to incorporate some of my music in my rewards structure. This brings a little variety and seems entirely appropriate since my recordings and performances are among my artistic creations too. Just a different medium.
The mp3 that I’m offering for every donor of $5 or more is a recording of a song called Quiet Joy, the title track of my 2009 CD. It was inspired by the peaceful beauty of a little town called Elk in Mendocino County, California. I was there with my (then) new 7-string guitar and some time on my hands when this song began to emerge.
At higher levels of donation, my CDs are part of the offering. Jaywalkin’ was recorded in 2003, and Quiet Joy in 2009. They include standards, Brazilian music and originals... and they’re both really good! Don’t take my word for it. Visit my music website at www.jennifer-lee.net, where you can hear song samples and read reviews. (Or you can hear longer song clips at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jenniferlee2 and http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jenniferlee.)
Any donor of $5000 or more, in addition to many of the other rewards, is entitled to a live performance of my music at a mutually agreeable time in any safe and appropriate venue the donor can secure. This will be a concert (two 45-minute sets) performed by me and two of my musical cohorts. If the venue is more than 100 miles from Oakland, California, the donor will need to provide transportation and lodging.
regarding the delivery of rewards: ArtPrize® is happening in September and October. Prior to that, my time and energy (outside of work) will be devoted to the creation of Perpetual Wonder and all the details surrounding the installation. For that reason, I’m setting the rewards delivery date for November of 2012. That way, I’ll have a bit of time to get things in order after returning from Michigan in October. And that way, if you’d like to give any of the rewards as holiday gifts, you’ll receive them in time to do so. It’s somewhere within the realm of possibility, however, that I’ll manage to mail the rewards (or some of them) before I head out to Grand Rapids. So, if you donate to my campaign, you can expect to receive your reward(s) by November at the latest.
As I stated above, I’m an artist and musician based in Oakland, California, and I’m the creator of Buggzart: a world of ever-expanding inspiration (www.buggzart.com). Buggzart is relatively new on the scene. As a matter of fact, the launch of the Buggzart website was simultaneous with the launch of this KickStarter campaign. So Buggzart is in its infancy, so to speak.
For the past couple of decades, I’ve identified primarily as a musician (you can check out my music at www.jennifer-lee.net). Only in the last year or so has my urge to create in a visual medium pushed its way to the forefront. Now, while I continue to create and share music, I’m also having a wonderful time creating colorful images that bring me joy and make me feel connected to something greater than myself. It’s my hope and intention (and it’s been my observation) that these images inspire joy and a sense of connection in others as well. Put more simply, I create art because it feels good, and I’ve found that the good feeling is infectious.
Until now, my artwork has been relatively small-scale – mostly 2D and no larger than 6 square feet in size (usually significantly smaller). Perpetual Wonder is Buggzart imagery on a larger scale than ever before.
While I’m the artist and creator of Perpetual Wonder, the physical manifestation of the final piece is not something I’ll be tackling on my own. There are two members of the Buggzart team – Carey and Elena – who will be joining me in Grand Rapids, mid-September, for the actual installation. Over a three-day period we’ll be building the structure, assembling the panels, hanging the piece, lighting the piece, and probably drinking a lot of coffee. To learn more about Carey and Elena, you can read their bios on the “about” page at www.buggzart.com.
Thank you for taking the time to read all of this, and and thank you for your interest in this project!
Wishing you peace, love, joy and inspiration! – Jennifer Lee
- (9 days)