Annals of The Wave, #1

Why Annals of The Wave?

Many people over the last year and a half have asked us how we go about selecting the location for The Wave at a specific site and how we design and install the site-specific installation.  So, in response to these questions, I’ll be devoting a post or two, periodically, to that process and calling it, ‘Annals of The Wave.’

The Wave at the New Britain Museum of American Art: May 11, 2013 – August, 2013

On a very cold and gray February day, Elena and I visited the New Britain Museum of American Art (NBMAA) in New Britain, CT to determine where and how we would install The Wave. We had just received word that The Wave was a ‘go’ and our goal on that day was to decide, along with the Museum staff, what was the most appropriate space for it.  All of us had previously agreed that an outdoor setting in May would be ideal for several reasons: (1) The Wave will greatly enhance the outdoor experience of the Museum and can remain in place through the end of the summer; and (2) 600 pieces of The Wave in the installation at the NBMAA were created by New Britain’s Gaffney Elementary School students, teachers, staff and parents and will be up when New Britain students and parents attend the Museums’ annual student art exhibition in June.

Elena and I had originally thought that we’d create a multi-colored ‘waterfall’ cascading off the facade of one wall adjacent to the Museum’s patio and sculpture garden that would ultimately spill onto the nearby grass and dissipate into a ‘pool.’ Learning that day that none of the walls would be appropriate since The Wave there would either block an important sidewalk egress or compete with sculptures already in place, we came up with an even more exciting plan: to construct an enormous, undulating ‘wave’ over the patio itself, using a fan-shaped wire framework connected from the rooftops of the two Museum buildings.  Adding to the appeal of this design is the fact that the patio is used during the spring, summer and fall as an outdoor cafe′ and The Wave would serve as a ‘canopy’ over the entire space.

The three photos below show two versions of the Museum’s patio in February as viewed from several directions and one image of the wire framework suspended by the Museum staff that we will use when we install The Wave later this week.

 Patio of New Britain Museum of American Art, February, 2013


Patio of New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT, February, 2013, #1

 Patio of New Britain Museum of American Art, February, 2013, #2


Patio of New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT, February, 2013, #2

 Wire Structure for The Wave, Suspended Over NBMAA Patio, April, 2013, Courtesy of Kathryn Matsuzaki


Wire Structure for The Wave, Suspended Over NBMAA Patio, New Britain, CT, April, 2013, Courtesy of Kathryn Matsuzaki

Stay tuned for ‘after’ photos showing the space with The Wave installed.

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