With the pennies collected, the time came to come up with a design. And over the past few weeks I came up with a doozy! Such a doozy, in fact, that I became totally paralyzed and overwhelmed. Needless to say, it was an ambitious plan. Now, after scaling it back a bit, I am ready to talk about it. Nothing is set in stone, so feel free to chime in with your feedback!
My original idea was for an outdoor installation that posed such questions as: where would I build it? How would I get it out the door once it was done? Where would I exhibit it? How would I weatherproof it? How would I move it if it became necessary? And on and on. So now, I'm thinking of an indoor, gallery-appropriate installation that will be constucted in sections that can be put together in multiple ways and rearranged at will in interactive ways.
The piece will be made up of four "shrines." Each shrine will address one theme of the Penny Project: Art, Money, Adoration (compliments), and Community. It will contain images, objects and text relevant to that theme along with decor accents including pennies. There will be paths leading up to each shrine paved with pennies and additional words and images, and flanked by related sculptures or other objects. Beside the shrine will be a pool of pennies with a fountain of pennies erupting from it. A beret covered head will be sticking out of the pool and a single arm holding a palette wil be sticiking out of the water. (An artist drowning in compliments? Drowning in money (or the quest for money)? Drowning in the need to make Art (regardless of money?)? Drowning in the gifts and giving of the community (or lack thereof)? Each shrine will contain a "well" that people can add to and interact with. There will be a place in the Community shrine for people to add their written thoughts, wishes, or prayers. They will be able to add pennies to the Money shrine, and compliments (to the art, the artist, or themselves (who doesn't need a compliment?) to the Adoration shrine. Sketches, poems, or other artistic work can be added to the Art shrine.
My hope is that the Community will come out and help with this project and be an integral part of it. Whether you have artistic talent or not, there are a multitude of ways in which you can participate. I will be posting (here and on Facebook) studio dates open to the public and I really hope to see you! If you can cut, drill, sew, write, glue, draw, paint, polish, trace, or just lend moral support, I want you! Please let me know if you're interested in creating art with me!