Follow The Republic:
SCULPTOR Mark Cooper’s community-based “YuYu Columbus” exhibit has steadily grown since its installation in July.
“The exhibit is a portrait of a town in conversation with itself,” explained Kelly Wilson, director for the Center for Art and Design, where the exhibit is housed. “People walk in at all hours of the day with something in their hand to add.”
The steady stream of community contributions thus far have been quite eclectic, Cooper said. About 60 people have contributed to it.
Everyone looks for a shelf to place their items on, and as the pieces get closer and closer together a dialogue forms, Wilson said.
The exhibit’s name is inspired by the nearly five-acre, 16th-century Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai, China, which features pavilions, covered walkways and halls made of rock.
Its purpose is to create an artistic discussion in the community by adding material items that best represent individuals, family, friends and community to wood and fiberglass structures.
Gail Plattner, an art teacher at the International School of Columbus, brought a group of four students to contribute to the exhibit three weeks ago.
The students, ranging in age from 12 to 17, were excited to take part, Plattner said.
“This is a primary, hands-on experience,” Plattner said. “They were so inspired by it. And they want to make art.”
One student introduced intricate origami he had made, fastening the pieces to the exhibit like a spiderweb spun from yarn and anchored by nails. Other students made forms from braided yarn to attach to the structure.
When she met Cooper during the exhibit’s opening, Plattner said she was unsure what she would add. Then it dawned on her. She would
offer several one-inch-long
clay cones she’d collected while working with a kiln on ceramics.
“I’ve collected them for more than 10 years,” Plattner said. “I couldn’t throw them away. I thought they would start a conversation.”
Plattner admits Cooper’s exhibit is strange, but it has the potential to bring the Columbus community together.
“Once these structures are put into public places,” Plattner said. “I feel like they will start a conversation. I feel it is important we talk to one another.”
Columbus couple Kevin and Laura McCracken were recently invited to contribute to the YuYu exhibit by their friend, sculptor Bob Pulley.
When the McCrackens first visited the exhibit, it seemed quite bare. But when they returned a couple weeks ago, about 100 items had been added, Laura McCracken said.
“It was difficult for us to imagine how the sculptures would take shape,” Laura McCracken said. “We wanted to choose items that would represent us, our family and our community.”
Music is a big part of the McCrackens’ lives. It only seemed logical that their contribution would involve some element of music.
The space in which the McCrackens made their contribution was located next to a winding stack of nearly 500 CDs.
“CDs, to us, represent music,” Kevin McCracken said. “And the space we found was a curving space, like a little niche.”
“It was vaguely reminiscent of a guitar,” Laura McCracken said.
Among the items the McCrackens contributed were guitar picks; a small, hand-held amplifier; a metronome and a harmonica.
Simply put, the importance of the YuYu exhibit is community involvement, Kevin McCracken said.
“The exhibit makes art and aesthetics accessible,” Kevin McCracken said. “It is one thing to go look at an exhibit, but it’s quite another to go and participate. That is what makes it so unique and
There are six large, two-dimensional wood and fiberglass structures that serve as the foundation of the “YuYu Columbus” exhibit. Fourteen additional smaller wall mounts also offer space for the artistic dialogue to continue.
“Think of the exhibit’s foundational structures as a coral reef Cooper has offered us,” Wilson said. “And the community additions are the organisms that flock to it.”
The exhibit, which was originally slated to close
Sept. 12, has been extended through Sept. 28 — after which, the sculptures will go on permanent display at various locations in Columbus that have yet to be determined, Wilson said.
Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!
Note: All comments left on our sites are first reviewed by an automated comment moderation system. Your comment may take up to 5 minutes to appear. If for any reason your comment can not be approved you will receive an email from this system with a detailed explanation.
All content copyright ©2013 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.