This public art project will incorporate new & recycled toys into a sculptural installation at Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia.
Personal Possession is a mixed media piece conceived by Bethany Rusen, to be located at Please Touch Museum® in Philadelphia. It will be permanently installed into a 12 x 6 foot stone archway directly opposite the famous Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel.
The Why: As children, toys are the first objects to which we attach emotional significance. Many children treat their “loveys” – a stuffed animal or blanket - with extreme care and take them everywhere. As adults, people gravitate toward objects as talismans and good luck charms, and hold onto heirlooms and objects from relatives and friends as a way to remember them. I would like to use the strong associations of these objects to create a work of art that explores the relationship we have with the things we own. It is my hope that seeing the toys in the installation will spark recognition and nostalgia within the viewers, and start a conversation about the objects and the memories attached to them.
The How: I will start by conducting a wide-ranging search for toys of all shapes and sizes (with the exception of plush toys - couldn't figure out how to paint those). These toys will include used donated items from PTM visitors, as well as sourcing newer toys that can be purchased in multiples. These toys will be painted various shades of white and installed into the archway in an assemblage format that echoes the work of Louise Nevelson and Joseph Cornell.
The When: The piece will be created on site at the museum during November and December 2012. It is slated to be completed mid-December 2012.
Follow Me: You will be able to see the installation's progress at my blog: http://bethanyrusen.wordpress.com.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
By funding this effort, you will be contributing to the construction of a permanent piece of art that will be seen by thousands of people over the next few decades. Much of this piece will be constructed from donations - toys given to the artist by friends, relatives and PTM visitors. The materials for this piece will be crowdsourced in a very similar way to its funding. I truly believe that small community donations are the best way to fund a piece of public art.
The process of constructing the piece will be time and material intensive, requiring many hours working in residence at Please Touch Museum. The funding provided by Kickstarter will allow me to devote myself fully to completing this piece, covering my studio time, transportation to and from the museum and some materials.
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