Art + Design in Public Space Series: Time and Place
The Heart of the City design team is pleased to invite you to join an artist’s talk and dialogue with internationally renowned artist Ann Hamilton. This month’s event will address how our experience of place is a function of time, and the ways in which the proposed artworks for Peace Plaza will create both timeless and singular experiences. Ohio-based artist Ann Hamilton and Heart of the City curator Hesse McGraw will lead the discussion.
Ann Hamilton is widely regarded for an artistic practice whose projects, often linking text and textile, create conditions for shared experience and moments of deeply held common ground. In her work Aeon, Hamilton literally grounds us through an expansive work in Cold Spring granite whose tactile surface of carved letters form the ground plane, through a textual work that spans eras and geographies. Connecting here to there, now to then and one to many, Hamilton’s composition both reaches back in time, and connects us directly to Rochester’s present. As we walk, or move across, Aeon, we construct our own narratives of Rochester and time’s passage.
The Art + Design in Public Space Series kicked off this summer with topics ranging from how universal design and access are a key to social equity, to how art and design can reflect local context and values, and how to create meaningful interaction and spectacle.
Upcoming Art + Design in Public Space series events will be announced.
Ann Hamilton is a visual artist internationally acclaimed for her large-scale multimedia installations, public projects, and performance collaborations. Her site-responsive process works with common materials to invoke particular places, collective voices, and communities of labor. Noted for a dense accumulation of materials, her ephemeral environments create immersive experiences that poetically respond to the architectural presence and social history of their sites. Whether inhabiting a building four stories high or confined to the surface of a thimble, the genesis of Hamilton's art extends outwards from the primary projections of the hand and mouth. These concerns have animated the site responsive installations that have formed the bulk of Hamilton's practice over the last 20 years. But where the relations of cloth, sound, touch, motion and human gesture once gave way to dense materiality, Hamilton's work now focuses on the less material acts of reading, speaking and listening. The influence of collaborative processes in ever more complex architectures has shifted her forms of making, wherein the movement of the viewer in time and in space now becomes a central figure of the work.
Born in Lima, Ohio, in 1956, Ann Hamilton received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas in 1979 and an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art in 1985. Hamilton has served on the faculty of The Ohio State University since 2001, where she is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Art. Among her many honors, Hamilton has been the recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, Heinz Award, MacArthur Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, and the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. She represented the United States in the 1991 Bienal de São Paulo, the 1999 Venice Biennale, and has exhibited extensively around the world.
Hesse McGraw, el dorado inc.
Hesse McGraw is a curator and writer focused on developing transformative artist-driven experiences in the public realm. For Heart of the City, design lead Coen+Partners integrated Hesse and el dorado inc — a cross-disciplinary practice based in Kansas City, Missouri that moves fluidly between architecture, urban design, curatorial and fabrication projects — to invite artists to work in collaboration alongside the design team.
Hesse’s curatorial practice and arts organization leadership are acclaimed for shifting organizations and places into springboards that expand the agency of artists beyond the gallery. His noted long-term projects include commissioning Jill Magid’s work The Proposal (2014 – ongoing), which offers the gift of architect Luis Barragán’s body in the form of a two-carat diamond engagement ring in exchange for the return of his body of work to Mexico; Michael Jones McKean’s public artwork The Rainbow (2012 – ongoing), which generates actual prismatic rainbows at civic scale from recycled water; and Theaster Gates’ Carver Bank (2012 – 2016) in Nebraska, which convened a space of urban ecstasy that supported artists living and working in North Omaha. Through these collaborations, more than 75 curated exhibitions, and extensive public and educational programs, Hesse has powerfully shared the instrumental role of artists in igniting public imagination and animating our largest problems.