Skip to main content

On the luminaries: a year's progress

It's only two days until the luminaries will be unveiled to mark the culmination of the community memoir and public art project. I thought it might be interesting to post some pictures showing how the ideas for the luminaries evolved over the course of the last year.

It started with paper-litho transfers to paper-bag luminaries that I created over a year ago:

The first idea for the Carroll County project was to do transfers of photos of people's faces onto four-sided plexiglass columns:

This idea seemed like it would be too bulky and costly, so it was changed to large intersecting panels of plexiglass without frames:

After the workshops ended, and after discussing it with my collaborators Patty McNair, Pati Johnson, and her husband Michael Johnson, we reverted to the idea of the column format, shown in this rough plan drawing:

And then a watercolour to help visualise how they would be placed:

This is the idea we finally agreed on, and that's how they were constructed:

So it looks more like the very first idea after all. I thoroughly enjoyed having people to discuss the format with, and to alter the plan depending on available materials, costs, and practical problems like 'should the solar light shine upward from below or downward from above?' It always felt like a collaboration, and at no point did I feel like an idea that I 'owned' was being taken away from me.

The next photos that I will put up will be after they are finally unveiled on Saturday night.
 Subscribe to Praeterita in a reader


  1. Can NOT wait to see them!!

  2. I am hoping that it will be unanimous that everyone there will have had the "best time ever."


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Brancusi in Plastic

Artist Mary Ellen Croteau is showing these columns made from recycled plastic cartons and lids in the window of the Columbia College bookstore on Michigan Avenue. They are a playful homage to Brancusi's "Endless Columns", with a serious environmental message for our times:

Mary Ellen also runs a wonderful experimental art gallery in a window space in west Chicago, called Art on Armitage. I will be exhibiting a mixed media piece there during August 2012.

How to etch a linoleum block

Linoleum as a material for printmaking has been used for nearly a hundred years now. Normally, you cut an image out using special gouges similar to woodcut tools, cutting away the lino around the image you want to print. This is called relief printmaking, because if you look at the block from the side, the material that remains stands up in relief from the backing material. You then roll ink with a brayer over the surface of the block, place paper over it, and either print by hand or run it through a press. You can do complex things this way (for example, reduction linocuts), but the beauty of the process is that it is quick, simple, and direct.

A few years ago, I saw some prints that were classified as coming from etched linoleum blocks, and I loved the textures I saw in them. In the last few months, I've been trying to use this technique in my own studio, learning about it as one does these days from websites and YouTube videos. I've also had email exchanges with several pr…

Me Talking About Alexander Calder

In the first years of this blog, in 2010-2011, I created a series of 100 short illustrated talks on art that I called Meditations on Art. There is a page on this blog linking to a complete playlist. I remember, about a year after I completed the series, checking in via YouTube and seeing that one of them had passed 1,000 views. An insignificant number compared to your average viral cat video, of course, but considering I made these little videos mostly for my own amusement, it still amazed me that one of them would get 1,000 clicks (whether they were purposeful or accidental).

Well, I just looked at the stats again, and I am amazed to find that one of these videos, the Meditation on Alexander Calder, has now surpassed 18,000 views. Here it is: