I am so gratified by the number of people who are participating in this project by donating their pennies, decorating tiles, and expressing interest in building the piece with me!
This weekend, I got out my graph paper (first time since seventh grade!!!!) and laid out the project. See the diagrams below! The measurements were dictated by what would fit in my truck.... as good a criterion as any, I suppose.
The base will be 3 by 6 feet and the height will be 3 feet at the tallest point. As you can see from the diagram, there will be a four sided structure. Each side will be a 3-piece shrine (one for each of the four main concepts/themes of the Penny Project: Compliments (Admiration), Money, Art, and Community. The center piece of each side will have an arched recess that will hold a 4 inch square bisque tile decorated to symbolize the concept for that side. The rest of the recess will be tiled with the pennies that were collected during the project.The area of the center piece (excluding the recessed area) and the side pieces will be tiled with 2 inch square tiles that have been decorated by members of the community during my shows and open studios. The tiles will then be coated with a resin for shine and durability and then grouted.
To the right of the shrine structure will be a "penny lake" with a "penny fountain." Remember: each penny represents a compliment to the artist. An artist's palette will be "floating" on the "water" and an artist's head (wearing a beret that I am sewing tonight) will be sticking out of the water. the significance will be open to interpretation... is she drowning in compliments? Bathing in compliments? Just taking a break from making art? There will be a tile path around the lake (also tiles created by community members) and in the open areas (which will probably be astro-turfed) will be some 3-dimensional representations of the four major themes... perhaps a piggy bank, a "thumbs up" sculpture, an easel, and some hand-holding doll figures.
Of course nothing is set in stone yet and the design and ideas may yet evolve into something entirely different.
This coming Tuesday I will be meeting with one of my mentors, Sandi Whyman, who creates wonderful shrines. Under her watchful eye, I'll be beginning construction of Side 1 of the shrine. I want to complete Side 1 myself (making copious notes of all the sub-tasks so I can later delegate them to anyone who is interested in participating in the construction of the rest of the project). Keep watching this space for announcements of open studio dates if you want to be part of making this piece of art happen!