Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The doors are open!

It looks so calm and lovely in the gallery you'd never know how hectic the past few days have been!  Between the calls for apocolyptic weather and our final dash to the finish line, there hasn't been enough time to post.  It is pretty amazing to compare what you see today to Thursday in the gallery, however.  Last Thursday, Sandile positioned his "Spinal Diagnosis - a regenerate case no. 2."  The platform was finally in place, the green primer covered with a lustrous white and Kevin Etherton, who heads our Installations, wheeled the art in.

 Sandile then carefully moved each piece of the sculpture onto the platform, in a row, considered them all, measured and got them into place with the help of our photographer, Franko Khoury.  When not holding a measuring tape, Franko documented the process for the record.

Friday saw the long awaited installation of Xilonoma Chamusquius, Henrique's massive installation made in Brazil specifically for this installaiton.  Each piece is remarkably heavy and required multiple hands to lift.  Once the first two elemnets were placed, we discovered it couldn't hang flush to the wall due to a phone jack that needed to be expediently removed. 
 Next, we got the lower two pieces positioned -- and Henrique and I drove folks nuts saying "just a smidge more to the right."  It took 5 people to lif it off the table and spot it as it was handed up to guys on ladders in position to screw it into position.  The problem is, it took about three tries to get it into position!

The weekend was spent plastering the pieces into place and attending to every other final detail.  The artists even found time to appear on the "Sounds of Brazil" sunday night on 89.3FM.  Monday they put in the final details -- charcoal smudges in the case of Hnerique, to complete the illusion of shadows in his sculptural works.  Students also came from MICA (Maryland Institute School of Art) and University of Maryland and asked great questions.  Despite the dire predictions for the weather, we managed to open today, on time and the press comes tomorrow so stay tuned as the word gets out!