In February of last year I started my largest project yet called 10,000 Hours. In this project I'm exploring the current theory by behavioral scientists that it takes a minimum of 10,000 hours of directed practice to become a master at something. Clearly this is a long-term project. I'm exploring this theory by learning to knit. As of now, a year and a half later, I'm about 1600 hours in. In addition to using knitting to explore the 10,000 Hours process, it is informing my art from my prints to my performance work.
In mid-May a curatorial team working for the city of Grand Rapids contacted me and asked if I would bring my 10,000 Hours project to their venue during ArtPrize this year.
ArtPrize is a city-wide art exhibition that lasts three weeks. ArtPrize is a really amazing art experience that gets the public involved and excited about contemporary art.
The curators had one specific request for my work. They asked that I do an installation on the sculpture by Alexander Calder there known as La Grande Vitesse. Alexander Calder is one of my favorite artists and this sculpture in particular has a lot of history... it was the first work of public art funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The curators initially suggested that I could cover it in knitting. But the sculpture is 40 feet high by 50 feet wide. Completely covering it in knitting would just not be feasible by this September. I also wanted to do something that would be more of an homage to Calder as well as be more of a true interaction with the work rather than simply covering it up.
So, I will create a temporary web of knitted ropes over and around the existing structure of the sculpture. The knitted work will interact with the sculptural spaces as well as create new shapes, color-plays, and possible public interaction.
I will be knitting as much of the rope and squares as possible here in Kansas City. I will also host three Group Knits in Kansas City where anyone can come participate in the process and knit rope for the installation. I will arrive in Grand Rapids with as much knitted rope completed as possible. I will also bring yarn and extra knitting needles to create more rope on site. I will encourage the public to knit more rope with me in the plaza. I can teach those who don't already know how to knit how to make the ropes. I will also bring knitted squares that the public and I may sew together and attach to the knitted rope structure.
I will be documenting every step of the way and at the end I will produce a book that encapsulates and documents the process and the project from start to finish. (See the $250 level reward!)
I'm hoping that 10,000 Hours – La Grande Vitesse will engage the public in creating public art surrounding and interacting with the first public-art piece funded by the NEA. The informal setting during the entire process will encourage dialogue and interaction. I aim to create a beautiful art intervention and gentle performance-art work that engages people in both Kansas City and Grand Rapids, stimulating conversation and encouraging them to look at their surroundings with fresh eyes.
This is an incredible opportunity! Please become a project sponsor and make sure this project is funded! Thank you so much!
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