Big-Bil-Bored perhaps created the most controversy of any of the sculptures displayed at Cermak Plaza with even Judy Barr-Topinka the future State of Illinois Treasurer weighing in with an opinion. Some residents in the City of Berwyn saw the piece as an attack by cultural elites on their working class traditions. An advisory referendum was held in March of 1990, which resulted in 1,662 people voting to keep the sculpture, while 6,379 voted to remove it. David Bermant hired the Gallup Organization to take a pole and it revealed a smaller split for those in favor of removal. It was installed in 1980 and removed in 1993. The supporting structure was excellent however the method used to cement the pieces into the whole did not hold up well with the freeze thaw cycle and the vibrations from nearby Harlem Avenue.
An imaginative take on crosswalks and handicap stall indicators. Maura Sheehan painted images within the crosswalks to resemble those on a famous Greek vase “The Panathenaic Amphora Footrace” on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY.
Dancing Trees II (traveling exhibit)David Durlach
Dancing Trees was a traveling exhibit that split time between Cermak Plaza in Berwyn, IL; Hamden Plaza in Hamden, CT; Allendale Shopping Center in Pittsfield, MA; West Erie Plaza in Erie, PA and Santa Barbara CA.
“The Dancing Trees sculpture is a kinetic landscape that is controlled so one can compose for it as one composes music or dance. It is a nine by nine grid of cactus-like objects made of permanent magnetsaffixed to an underlying tray and covered with iron powder. The invisibility and silence of magnetism causes the viewer to project “life” into the sculpture. The iron powder is very light, organic looking and has a very fast response time, thus allowing a choreography with a wide range of motions. It is also self-organizing into thousands of fine strands which look very much like animal fur.”
ARTIST BIO: David Durlach lives and works near Boston Mass. He attended Princeton University where he learned something about mathematics, physics, electrical engineering, and computer science. He is an artist, engineer, teacher, inventor, and humanist. He believes that his scientific training combined with his aesthetic intuition enables him to use rich new expressive mediums to create beauty and thus inextricably link technology and feeling. He terms the results “Affectionate Technology”.
Bill and Mary Buchen design public art installations and interactive sound sculptures for parks, schools, science centers, transit stations, children’s museums, playgrounds and Cermak Plaza. Their artworks invite active play and group participation.
Out Of The Fire Into The Frying Pan/Eggbeater John Billingham & Norman Culp
A riff on the zoetrope conceptualized by Norman Colp and crafted by John Billingham. Colp is best known for his installation, Commuter’s Lament, at the Times Square Subway Station. Billingham has had an intriguing career that has included crafting weather vanes and creating professional models for industry and entertainment.
Electricity/High Tide Over Geary Cork Marcheschi
Cork (Louis) Marcheschi was born in San Mateo, California in 1945 and has had exhibitions in various museums in the United States and Europe. During the past several years he has completed public and corporate commissions in Seattle, St. Paul, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.
The Embrace Gina Gilmour
Gina Gilmour grew up in North Carolina and earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Sarah Lawrence College
Ever Blooming Night & Day Flowers James Seawright
James Seawright, celebrates the space-age technology of the early 80s by using it to create sculptures that reflect the forms of nature. These flowers would “bloom” through computer controlled programs. Light emitting diodes (LED) were the means through which the night flowers displayed their patterns of life, while the movement of a daytime flowers are evoked by the use of plastic disks and innovative mechanical devices.
James Seawright was born in 1936 in Jackson, Mississippi, was director of visual arts at Princeton University at the time the work was created. One of the foremost technological artist since the late 1960s, some of his major pieces are in the permanent collection of the museum ofmodern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim Museum of New York City, the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, the New Jersey State Museum at Trenton, and other museums throughout the world.