’80ft of Tomatoes’ by Tinca Joyner

June 28th, 2010 : : : : Tag Words: ,

A neighbor of the towering grain elevator, 10-year old Tinca Joyner found inspiration for her submission from the plants she cultivates in her own backyard.  Both a productive farmer and artist, Tinca has lived in Omaha for all of her 10-year life and has been making art and planting seeds for most of it.  The Stored Potential jury found the intersection of these two things especially noteworthy in Joyner’s use of reds and oranges to depict the juicy fruit (or is it a vegetable?) in a style representative of Art Nouveau, especially in its tenet of applying artistic design to everyday utilitarian objects, in order to make beautiful things available to everyone. Although Tinca intended for the tomatoes in her drawing to be oriented to the bottom, as a tomato plant often looks like when supporting large bunches of fruit from a plant that commonly out-produces the needs of the grower, Tinca says the guy at Kinkos accidentally scanned her drawing with the tomatoes to the top.  Perhaps he knew that placing the bunch of tomatoes at the top of the elevator would maximize their exposure.

At Tinca’s house, her family has a garden set up in the front yard. She loves to choose seeds at the hardware store and watch them grow for harvest. Along with beets, carrots and peas, Tinca has decided to take on the task of growing a watermelon this year along with some poppies and sunflowers. She enjoys painting as well as drawing and always keeps an easel set up at the foot of her bed. She likes to host mini art shows in the stairwell of her house when her family is entertaining. While typically, Tinca likes to work in abstraction, she chose to draw cherry tomatoes for the grain elevator because they are the most fun of all vegetables to draw and eat.

When entrant identities were revealed at the end of the jury day, we discovered that Tinca is daughter of Omaha singer-songwriter Simon Joyner, considered by some as the forefather of the Omaha music scene.  Perhaps Tinca will be the forebearer of a burgeoning oversized art-about-agriculture scene?

Tomatoes

‘….that Hourglass Figure’ by Bob Trempe

June 24th, 2010 : : : : Tag Words: ,

Perhaps the most simply articulated submission of all, ‘………that Hourglass Figure’ by Bob Trempe, Professor of Architecture at Temple University, was a jury favorite both for its 2D manipulation of a 3D surface, and the method by which he achieves the illusion.  Manipulating a convex concrete silo with only an exterior surface is likely a frustrating constraint for an architect.  But with a series of simple black dots, Trempe’s submission virtually modifies the geometrical quality of one silo through the draping of a simple gradient pattern.  This pattern, designed in the shape of an hourglass, perceptually “tapers” the middle of the silo inward through the patterned shadow image. The pattern of dots creates the shaded quality one would find on a tapered, cylindrical surface.

Bob Trempe’s work as an architect and educator focuses on new methods of information visualization and how resultant emergent information can serve as instruction for architectural production. Thought of as the study of process itself, Bob’s works are typically articulated through repetitious systems, exploiting time-based qualities to notate, visualize, and analyze changes-in-state. Time always plays a critical role in these explora­tions of natural, man-made, and seemingly intangible phenomena as time is the living, breathing dimension of architecture.

Examples of his research can be seen through his office Dis-section Architectural and Media Design ( DAMD at www.dis-section.com ) as well as professional work with the design office of Verspoor & Trempe. Speculative projects such as “Slpistream” can be seen in the 2006 Birkhauser book “Distinguishing Digital Architecture.” Bob Trempe’s investigate works have been shown nationally and internationally at venues such as the ACM/SIGGRAPH Art Galleries in San Diego CA and New Orleans LA as well as exhibits such as DrawingOut2010 in Melbourne, Australia.

Whether seen as a statement about dwindling food reserves and farming, or simply as a playful gesture executed to make people look twice, ‘……that Hourglass Figure’ will, for the period of 3 months, reinvigorate and reinterpret an architecture of time past.  What appears to be a deep breath in will hopefully cause viewers to question perception and shifts in normalcy within the preexisting environment.

Hourglass-figure

‘Bacon’ by M. Brady Clark

June 15th, 2010 : : : : Tag Words: ,

For the next 14 weeks, we will be presenting, one by one, each Stored Potential banner and designer.  Since we are essentially creating one grand mural through individual perspectives, doing so incrementally seems appropriate leading up to the October 3 giant dinner day.

We’d like to present Week #1 Banner ‘Bacon’ by M. Brady Clark.  His image is striking, simple, and speaks volumes about the Midwest.  Although it isn’t the ‘beef’ Nebraska is most identified with, nor is it condoned by vegetarian friends, it is nonetheless symbolic and representative of the place and certainly the landscape. The visiting jurors even commented that Omaha is also ‘pork’ town after their weekend in the city.  Meat is an important cultural identifier and aptly so since the mastodons crossed the Bering Straight Land Bridge from Asia to North America and entered the Great Plains some 10 million years ago. When the glaciers formed the massive ridges of sand dunes over north central Nebraska 5 million years later, the giant bison entered the picture and from then on, the great plains supported herbivores consuming up to 1,000 pounds of grass per day.  As late as the mid-1880s, undisturbed prairie still covered most of the heartland.  But following the Civil War when confederate money was worthless in the impoverished South, Texas cattlemen put herds on the trails north to Nebraska. (Nebraska Cattleman Association)

And here is where M.Brady Clark, hailing from Austin, Texas, enters the picture. He is no stranger to Omaha with his graphics work for Saddle Creek’s band Cursive, a connection the jury discovered at the end of the day when the identity of entrants was released, thus explaining the ‘Omaha feel’ to this submission.  Aside from Bacon, Clark has spent years in apparel, logo, and print design with an impressive list of clients represented by his companyFour Eyes Are Better Than Two.  Although his brainstorming partner is not a pig or cow (I argued that his submission could represent a really long flank), but rather a 6 foot tall taxidermy shark, M. Brady claims that his work is a culmination of the right opportunities mixed with creativity.  And that might be precisely what occurred here.  According to M. Brady, “My work is simply to use my God-given gift to make things better and more beautiful.”  Representing Bacon at nearly 80′ tall, on a grain elevator, might be the perfect combination of literal (grain transfer to animal protein) combined with scale to create abstract beauty.

M. Brady’s ‘Bacon’ is less about specific species of animal, but more about place, consumption, and culture.  Juror Mason White declared ‘Bacon’ as ‘out-Warholing’ another submission that directly referenced the quintessential Warhol exhibit The American Supermarket, which depicted a small supermarket where everything – from the produce, canned goods, meat, posters on the wall, etc. – was created by six prominent artists confronting the general public with pop art as the perennial question of what art is (or what it is not).  Perhaps Bacon, or less specifically, meat in general, is Midwest art?  Or more precisely in the context of the elevator and narrowly shaped silos only to be rivaled by corn……………….stay tuned.

Nonetheless, M. Brady claims his biggest challenge is to design with his client and project in mind first without adding in too much of his own aesthetic. In this instance, Clark’s clever style was a good fit when he claimed that “everything is better with bacon” which I have heard numerous vegetarian friends utter at various breakfast gatherings.

Learn more about Clark’s Bacon Artery Series.

 

Bacon

10 Hour Jury

June 7th, 2010 : : : : Tag Words:


Photo by Hlly McAdams, Community Arts Manager, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

 On May 22, only 5 days after the deadline for entries, the Stored Potential jury convened in the back gallery at The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. For 4 jurors, the task seemed simple: choose 14-images for print at 20′x80′ to temporarily re-clad the concrete silos comprising a vacant elevator near Omaha’s downtown.  The morning began with a site visit to provide a physical understanding of the massiveness of the project; creating and displaying images at this scale, for the whole world to see,  and possibly even NASA satellites, is not a flippant act.  With no precedent as reference, they approached the diverse proposals to work through a course of action.

Corn. There was lots of it. Enough that Mason White was repeatedly heard saying: “oh don’t you worry, there will be corn.”    Discussion was focused on the varied representation of the plant Zea mays and how it is central in the thought of even artists and designers. It is the mascot of Nebraska. The jury leaned towards entries that went a step further than the literal cob or kernel, narrowing them down to a corn in husk re-imaged as barcode when scanned by a mobile phone will direct the user to a website listing all its byproducts, corn as an artistic compilation of parallel lines – a metaphor for the fields that bear the crop, and corn kernels as farmer crowdsourcing to paint the final banner.

Concept. How a central guiding idea is conceived, represented, and executed.  The jurors discussed the importance of a concept that guides the packaging of a submission and also relates directly to the overall project – land use, agriculture, and food.  Juror Jeff Day made suggestions how strong entries could become stronger by refining the written description or even adding one more image to further explain the designers process or link it more directly to the overall project initiative.  In general, the more the jury was informed about the genesis and development of the idea, the longer it remained on the boards.  One such idea superimposed a well head and below ground well from Western Nebraska onto a silo using the height of the concrete structure to measure the depleting levels of the Ogallala Aquifer.  Another employed a series of diminishing black dots represented in various perspectives and 3D models to create the illusion of an hourglass, or pinched, silo.  And a third conceptual entry positioned land use as another type of ‘production’ with an aerial sliver of Omaha where agriculture meets a developing parcel meets a fully developed one by reinterpreting the transition as a colorful composition of lines.

Scales. The jury quickly declared the importance of images that convey meaning at numerous physical scales. Juror Jamie Hand asked interesting questions regarding scale: What is the perspective from a passing vehicle at 70mph versus a visit to the site? Will the image at the larger scale lead someone to visit the site to learn more?  What about the play on scale of the image itself such as a pastel drawing of a rusty hand cultivator that at this scale and next to the interstate becomes almost infrastructural itself.  And what about numerous scales of thought?  Is it exactly what a viewer sees, or is there more behind the image such as re-purposing the banner post-exhibition as political action, reforming into usable objects?  Juror JD Hutton made an apt metaphor about ‘harvesting the banners’ that was proposed by one submission that created a land patterned quilt of hexagons, each containing tiny print “Speak Up for Small Farms”.  After the exhibition, the hexagons will be cut out and mailed to all U.S. Senators and Representatives by a regional group of small farmers.

Lawsuit. Avoiding lawsuits for Emerging Terrain was an important consideration.  Did the artist credit the image used?  Copyrighted fonts, copyrighted ideas, copyrighted images – they were present throughout the submissions.

Composition. How do the images work with one another as a composite facade? This became the most difficult part of the day as images were arranged, rearranged, and rearranged again on a printout of the elevator.  It was here that the jury’s ‘personality’ became apparent: patterns and viewer interaction.  And, pop art: a large piece of bacon with a small ‘AMEN’ written below that Mason White declared as “out-Warholing” another submission that directly referenced Warhol, and a graphic pop art interpretation of elevator Drive Sheds. Finally, a submission that fits no category other than purely beautiful: a crayon drawing of Tomatoes neatly cropped to the proportions of the silo and the simplest of concept statements by a 10-year old who lives near the elevator.

Conclusion. The jury chose 14 submissions to be short-listed for the next stage that requires developing a portion of the image at full-print scale for a mock up to test how it will read on the elevator.  Several images that were not short-listed were recommended differently than intended – one is being commissioned as the menu for the epic dinner.

Each submission received contributed tremendously to the enthusiasm of the project.  Thank you to everyone who generously participated by creating.

Contributors to above composite (in no particular order): Ashley Johnson, Julie Bogdanowicz, Aaron Cohen, DeOld Andersen Architecture, Brian Stromquist, Seth Taras, Ben Raines, Mary Zicafoose, Les Bruning, M. Brady Clark, Craig Lee, Tom Prinz, Richard Brock, Joey Lynch, Elle Lien, Jordan Geiger, Will Quintana, Gerard Lange, Peg Reinecke, Gary Jameson, Leslie Parker, Cleo Buster, Jamie Thiessen, Joseph Broghammer, Jeremy Reding, Mary Day, Irena Piechota, Joy Taylor, Andreas Symietz, Tory Burke,  Amber Eve Anderson,  Linda Koutsky,  Sheung-Yi Ng, Joe Pankowski, MJ Rezac, Matthew Bissen, Jacob Hoppe,  Scott Keyes, Emily Mechesney, Cathy Solarana, Doris Rowe, Michel Mason, William Holland, Skye Hawkins, Mitchell Gelber, Cecilia Lueza, Tim Lewis, Jean Mason, Alex Jochim, Krista Hulshof, Brittan Rosedahl, The Office of PlayLab Inc., Robert Trempe, Kevin Penrod, Blair Guppy, Darlene Montgomery, Greg Johnson, Christine Cortina,  Bemis Press,  Todd Gilens, Chris Shelley, Shaun Smakal, Matthew Farley, Mike Giron, Cat DeBuse, Kim Reid Kuhn, Kristin Pluhacek, Michael Alstad, Leah Lazariuk, Luisa Caldwell, Cat and Ray Dalupang, SLO Architecture, Leigh Merrill, Kaleen Enke, Ben Ruswick, Brian Kelly, Deb McColley, Rodney Rahl, William Watson, Adelina Castro, Derrick Presnall, Darci Presnall, Jennie Wilson, Joshua Serck, Cait Irwin, Katharine Rapkin, Tinca Joyner, Nicholas Pella, Emily Nemens, Lea Schuster, Safora Khoylou, Jennifer Eurell, Art Garcia