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Art-Speak Announces Overnight Art Installations

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Art-Speak Overnight Art 2008

Art-Speak, the City of Portsmouth’s Cultural Commission, is pleased to announcethe schedule for Overnight Art 2010 installations.  Overnight Art is a public art competition resulting in a summer-long exhibit of commissioned outdoor art at various Portsmouth locations.  The project is intended to showcase the talents of artists working in the seacoast area, and also to highlight the important role public art plays in our communities by enhancing our environment, sparking our imaginations, generating conversation, and stimulating our minds. This year's Overnight Art theme is bridges. As the condition of the bridges connecting Portsmouth and Kittery has become an important public issue, a spirited dialogue has arisen around the significance of those bridges in our lives.  Overnight Art 2010 takes its inspiration from this conversation.  

Six pieces of outdoor public art will be installed over a two week period from June 1st though June 10th.  They will remain up until October 2010.  Please join us in celebrating the outstanding talent and creativity of our local artists by visiting their works. The following is a description of the Overnight Art pieces and their installation locations.

Jeanne Givens will create the sculpture, Ingenuity, on Vaughan Mall, off Congress Street.  Ingenuity is a welded steel sculpture incorporating industrial hardware and found objects to create a representation of the strength, integrity and ingenuity that bridges have brought to our community. The sculpture will be accented by plantings in the steel and concrete bases.  The focus of the sculpture is the heavy industrial connections that will join two crane pendants between two standing structures, interpreting the use of design and engineering to span space and create a bridge.  A representation of a human head, with tools and gears emerging out of its mind connect thought and imagination with the materials and methods that create a physical structure.

Caught Between Us, by Sarah Haskell of York, Maine will be made of recycled fish and shrimp nets, and marine hardware.  It will be installed on the façade of the High-Hanover Parking garage.  Caught Between Us is inspired by the idea that what separates the shores of New Hampshire and Maine is also what unites us. This work pays homage to the individuals who work on the Piscataqua River, the marine life that inhabits these waters and the Memorial Bridge which binds the Seacoast communities together. Built from fish and shrimp nets this piece references the web of life and the net-like construction of the bridge. The title Caught Between Us suggests the current dilemma of not only the Memorial Bridge but the fragility of our marine environment. 

Moose Myth is sapling sculpture created by the artist team, Donna Dodson of Boston, MA and Andy Moerlein of Bow, NH. “I think we are inspired by each other’s works, and really wanted to collaborate to see what would happen,” Moerlein said. They are using Moerlein’s sapling construction method and Dodson’s vocabulary of animal headed human figures to make a 12-foot tall moose headed male figure called Moose Myth.  “We want it to be really natural and really organic and look like it just walked right out of the woods,” Dodson said.  The Moose Myth represents a bridge between human and animal, wilderness and civilization. This piece will be installed in Market Square.

Carly Glovinski and Matt Wajda of Dover will create 603/207 in the alley between Stonewall Kitchen and North Church (between Pleasant and Church Streets).  This installation is meant for public use as a walkway.   Collected phonebooks from 603 and 207 area codes will been assembled to achieve the appearance of wood grain through the organization of striated, stacked layers of yellow and white pages. As referential objects that provide users access to a network of people, phonebooks can be considered guidebooks to connectivity. By using 603 and 207 area code phonebooks to build this “wood flooring” surface, this interactive walkway becomes symbolic of the physical joining of two states and the networks of people between them.
The Spirit of Janus will be installed at Pease International Tradeport (at the corner of New Hampshire Avenue and Exeter Street) by Jeffrey Hyland and Elizabeth Dudley of Exeter, and Marty Gorham of Durham. The Spirit of Janus is a mixed media sculpture that explores the evolution of the Seacoast’s shipping and trade heritage. More specifically, how it has, and continues to shape the landscape both physically and culturally. This exploration materializes in a sculptural form that weaves together a number of representational elements. A ship’s hull is represented by a steel cable hammock. Spruce trees sit suspended above the ground and represent a once a vital export, as well as, all plants that have made their way to the Seacoast from afar. Finally, pilings and shorter trading posts evoke ports-of-call. You can partake in trade yourself by exchanging an object from a trading post with one of your own. 

Annika Wisswaesser of Kittery, Maine will use marine canvas, plywood, rusted steel, and concrete to create Transverse.  This piece will reveal itself from different perspectives. From a distance the multiple structures will embody, both where we have come from: billowing sails of the early period ships that traversed the Atlantic to Portsmouth from Europe, and where we are going: the “blank canvas” of how we will continue to bridge the Piscataqua. As one approaches closer, the work’s interior structure of dilapidated steal will be revealed through a split in the seams of the canvas. Given a canvas sheath of newness to conceal its aged and degraded structure, the work causes the viewer to question our priorities and the reality of time.

The mission of the City of Portsmouth Cultural Commission, Art-Speak, is to promote appreciation, awareness, participation, and dialogue in the support of arts and culture in Portsmouth.   For more information, go to www.art-speak.org.  For more information, contact Sue Cobler at 603.610.7222 or scobler@cityofportsmouth.com.



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