Organizers of the Exhibit Columbus architectural exhibition have chosen a student-designed temporary installation planned for Seventh and Washington streets in front of the LHP Guest House building.
“Between the Threads,” a multi-colored rope maze designed by local high school students working alongside professional architects, will be part of the first-time event, which begins Aug. 26. Kelly Wilson, an artist and architect serving as director of the Indiana University Center for Art + Design, made the announcement with Erin Hetrick, Exhibit Columbus’ education coordinator.
The exhibition element of Exhibit Columbus is a new exploration of art, architecture and design — one that organizers expect to bring as many as 10,000 people to the city’s downtown to see what is known as pop-up architecture over a three-month stretch until late November. The installations, to be built next to iconic local structures, are meant to offer perspective or commentary on a number of those buildings, from Eero Saarinen’s First Christian Church to I.M. Pei’s Bartholomew County Public Library.
The threads proposal was chosen from ideas submitted by two high school teams, which a total of six students have developed since fall. The other design, titled “Chevron,” featured a modern, stretched canopy that would protrude over the sidewalk.
“They are equal in their virtue and value,” Wilson said of the two teams’ designs. “The big thing that made the difference was that ‘Threads’ has the potential to have a few more hands involved (in construction).”
Organizers are recruiting volunteers now to help with construction.
The students said their design was inspired by Alexander Girard’s vivid artwork, which is most notably a part of the Miller House locally. Team members are Mila Lipinski, Jane Phillips, Tim Cox and Kyle Kingen.
“Between the Threads” consists of a series of 10-foot tall panels characterized by vertically strung rope. The colorful rope is supported by white galvanized pipe, allowing the installation to symbolically link with both the nearby AT&T Switching Station building pipes and the white trellis near the LHP site.
Cube-shaped seats, accompanied by rope ceilings for shade, are spread throughout the installation. As people walk through the maze, they can experience a transition of colors provided by the overlapping of rope panels, according to the students.
Now that the focus has shifted to one installation, students Josie Royer and Tim Rix, who were part of the “Chevron” work, have joined the preparation for “Between the Threads.”
“They have jumped right in,” Hetrick said.
She said a bonus is that Royer and Rix now can offer an outsider’s input as the effort progresses toward physical reality.
Wilson said he was impressed with the students’ maturity and flexibility.
“They didn’t bat an eye (over switching projects),” he said. “I have been very proud of them.”
Exhibit Columbus organizers already are working alongside student designers to physically build a temporary work called “Between the Threads.” To volunteer to help, contact Erin Hetrick at email@example.com.