High Museum of Art to Unveil "Mi Casa, Your Casa" Installation on Sifly Piazza in July
Museum celebrates transformation of its outdoor space with opening weekend festivities
Community invited to engage with site-specific work throughout the summer
Opening Weekend: July 18-20, 2014
ATLANTA, July 16, 2014 – On July 18, the High Museum of Art will unveil a large-scale, interactive design installation by contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena in the center of the Woodruff Arts Center’s campus on the Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza. The site-specific work will launch a two-year initiative to activate the outdoor space.
Titled “Mi Casa, Your Casa,” the installation (on view through Nov. 2), will invite the city to participate in the life of the entire campus of the Woodruff Arts Center (of which the Museum is a division), through recreation, social interaction, performances, art-making activities, and special events co-organized with local partner institutions.
For the unveiling, the High invites visitors to an opening weekend celebration, presented in partnership with the Instituto de México and glo. On Friday, July 18, the evening kicks off at 6 p.m. with performances of traditional Mexican folk music and dancing. From 8:30 to 10 p.m., glo will present a performance titled “choir B: a physical Installation,” migrating throughout the Woodruff campus and the Piazza. Guests may also enjoy Mexican food and drinks available for purchase throughout the evening.
The festivities continue throughout the weekend with the following schedule:
Saturday, July 19:
- 9 a.m. – Morning yoga for adults and children
- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Family art-making activities, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Instrument Petting Zoo, and performances by the Alliance Theatre’s Theatre for the Very Young and Arts for Learning teaching artists Havana Son
- 4 to 8:30 p.m. – Performances on the Piazza and Mexican drinks and food for purchase
- 8:30 to 10 p.m. – glo performs “choir B: a physical Installation”
Sunday, July 20:
- Noon to 4 p.m. – Family art-making activities, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Instrument Petting Zoo, and a performance by Arts for Learning teaching artists Havana Son
These performances and activities will all take place on the Piazza in and around the “Mi Casa, Your Casa” installation. The High will also offer special admission discounts throughout the weekend, including free admission for children ages 17 and under. For more information and an up-to-date schedule of events, visit www.high.org.
As a blank canvas for community engagement and activity, “Mi Casa, Your Casa” draws its inspiration from a basic form recognizable and relatable to all—the home.
The project features 36 three-dimensional, open frames in the shape of a house installed in a large grid on the Piazza, with four singular forms placed around the Woodruff Arts Center campus. The vibrant red 8 x 8 x 10.5-foot steel frames will be installed in this first pattern through Sept. 7 to coincide with the High’s major exhibition “Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas.” In the fall, the structures will be re-installed in a second pattern for the opening of the Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra seasons.
Co-curated by Sarah Schleuning, the High’s curator of decorative arts and design, and Virginia Shearer, Eleanor McDonald Storza director of education, this innovative project explores how engagement with art and design can extended beyond the museum’s walls through these dynamic structures, enlivened by a variety of programs, art-making activities and other interactive features.
Hammocks, swings, easels, bins of chalk, and buckets of bubble water, among other elements, will offer daytime leisure and recreation options throughout the summer. The High and other divisional partners of the Woodruff Arts Center (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Arts for Learning) will also utilize the installation for youth education opportunities, performance intermissions and more.
Throughout the project’s duration, the High will collaborate with artists and performers across the Atlanta arts spectrum, from colleagues at the Woodruff Arts Center to other local arts groups, including contemporary dance company CORE Performance Company; choreographers and dancers glo; Instituto de México; The Object Group, which explores theatre and puppetry; Georgia Tech’s contemporary music ensemble-in-residence Sonic Generator; modern dance company T. Lang Dance; French-language theatre company Théâtre du Rêve; Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi; and WonderRoot, an organization that unites artists and community to inspire social change. The High’s staff is working closely with these institutional partners to launch a dynamic programmatic vision for the summer and fall.
Most performances by participating artists will take place on Friday nights at 7 p.m. as part of the High’s new “Friday Night Lates” series, which also offers visitors half-price admission to the Museum and live music on the third Friday of each month.
Below is the current schedule of performances/project partners (including fall dates):
July 18-20 – Opening Weekend Celebration with Instituto de México and glo
July 25 and 26 – Alliance Theatre’s musical theatre camp performs “Lord of the Flies”
July 31 – High Museum of Art’s Teen Team Reel Riot Film Festival
Aug. 1 – Alliance Theatre Teen Ensemble performance
Aug. 1 – Théâtre du Réve presents “Pillow Talk sur l’oreiller”
Aug. 8 – “Home Bodies” by The Object Group
Aug. 15 – “Home Bodies” by The Object Group
Aug. 22 – Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi perform “Me in Your Fall, Holding Ground” and “Yours is Mine”
Aug. 23 – Teen Night presented by the High
Aug. 29 – Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi with live music by Sonic Generator
Sept. 5 – Programming TBD
Sept. 12 – Théâtre du Réve presents “Pillow Talk sur l’oreiller”
Sept. 19 through Sept. 25 – WonderRoot artist installation
Sept. 26 – CORE Performance Company presents the World Premiere of the site-specific dance/performance “a home is a home is a home”
Oct. 3 – Programming TBD
Oct. 10 – T. Lang Dance presents “Post Up: Alone in Your House,” a collaboration with composer John Osburn and video interactive engineer Deigratia Daniels
Oct. 18 – CORE Performance Company and Association Manifeste present the World Premiere of “Je Suis/I am,” a dance/performance piece for public spaces
Oct. 24 – T. Lang Dance presents “Post Up: Alone in Your House,” a collaboration with composer John Osburn and video interactive engineer Deigratia Daniels
Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 – Closing Weekend with Instituto de México celebrating Day of the Dead
(All programming is subject to change. For an up-to-date schedule of events, visit www.high.org)
“The goal of this project is to bring our outdoor space to life with art,” said Michael E. Shapiro, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. director of the High. “Artistic engagement and enjoyment begin as soon as visitors set foot on the Woodruff Arts Center campus, not just when entering its buildings. We can hardly wait to share the amazing design created by our friends Héctor and Ignacio and to foster unique and original collaborations with community partners that will allow our visitors to experience some of Atlanta’s most compelling artists working together in exciting new combinations. Bringing our community together to explore new territory and branch out in fresh, unexpected directions is a thrilling opportunity to turn the museum experience inside out.”
The “Mi Casa, Your Casa” initiative builds on a partnership the High established in 2013 with designers Esrawe and Cadena. For the 2013 exhibition “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting,” the High commissioned the design team duo to create two dynamic, contemporary reading rooms within the exhibition. Based on visitor reactions to those installations, the High commissioned the designers to create a new intervention for its Piazza space, which resulted in their creation of “Mi Casa, Your Casa.”
“We want to create a space that makes visitors proud of who they are and where they live, that allows them to feel a sense of belonging,” said Esrawe. “We want people to say, ‘This is my city, my home.’”
In addition to “Mi Casa, Your Casa,” the High commissioned Esrawe and Cadena to design a second installation project for the Piazza for the summer of 2015, which will be inspired by the public’s interaction with this year’s project. After these initial two years, the High and the Woodruff Arts Center will explore other potential activation projects for the outdoor space.
For more information and an evolving schedule of programs and performances, visit www.high.org.
About the Designers
Two of the leading designers in Mexico today, Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena currently serve as designers-in-residence for the High. Over five years ago, they established their interdisciplinary design firm E+C. Esrawe is an award-winning industrial designer as well as a celebrated furniture, interior and product designer. Inspired by traditional Latin American design, architecture and folk art, Esrawe’s works are playful, sometimes humorous, and organic. Winner of the Bienal Iberoamericana de Diseño (2010) in the Interior Design Spaces category, Esrawe designed glassware for Nouvel Studio, with products available at Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Walker Art Center. Like Esrawe, Cadena also is creative director of his own firm, Cadena+Asoc. Branding. Cadena’s collaborative designs explore the boundaries between art and science. Cadena has said of design that it “is not a luxury anymore, it is a necessity. Everything around us is design and should revolve around the direct and aesthetic benefit of humans and planet earth.” To this end, his designs focus on visual concepts influenced by the world around us.
The High Museum of Art
The High is the leading art museum in the Southeastern U.S. With more than 14,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk art and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists. For more information, visit high.org.
The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is one of the largest arts centers in the world, home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Arts for Learning. Each year, these arts organizations play host to over 1.2 million patrons at the Woodruff Arts Center’s Midtown Atlanta location, one of the only arts centers in the U.S. to host both visual and performing arts on a single campus. Through its work with educators and schools, the Woodruff Arts Center serves over 300,000 students annually and is the largest arts educator in Georgia.
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