Well, we did it, folks. PGA (Please Generate Art) opened last Friday, and for 6 hours that day, hundreds upon hundreds of people wandered through the whimsical, mini-golf inspired art exhibit. Between shuttling people through Sound Collective, the section that Caitlin O’Meara, Laura Bock, and I created for PGA, and re-filling our balloon wall (you’ll see later), Brian and I managed to take a quick break to run through the course ourselves. I snapped a few photos so that I could take you through the magic, too!
After grabbing a golf ball and club at the Pro Shop, we started the course at Identity Registry. Giant watercolored walls filled with fun, child-like drawings provided the backdrop for a canvas of thumbprints. We each added our thumbprint to the registry.
Next, we went Down The Rabbit Hole. This installation, created by Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling graduate students, Emily D’Annunzio, Courtney St. Clair, and their friends, was dark and creepy and disorienting. And amazing. We had to carefully maneuver the course, which was crawling — literally, crawling — with dancers covered in glow-in-the-dark body paint. Quite surreal.
Once we putted through all the holes in Down The Rabbit Hole, we pushed our way through the curtain to the next section and found ourselves staring at one enormous eye, blinking and looking around as it was projected onto the curtain walls. Our good buddy Sarah Newby created this voyeuristic section. So cool, Sarah. So cool.
Next was one of my favorite sections — We Generate Our Own Environment by Master of Arts in Teaching candidates, Danielle Holtz and Sarah McHugh. They created a giant cardboard city, which participants could alter by adding stickers or projecting different colors, patterns, and textures onto the walls. The end result was just beautiful.
After adding our stickers to the cardboard city, Brian and I wandered through Balloon Consume. To pass through, we each had to blow up one balloon and add it to all the other balloons that had been added before us.
In addition to orchestrating much of PGA (Please Generate Art) throughout the pat year, recent Master of Arts Management grad and our fun friend, Lucia Palmarini, put together her own section for the exhibit. Throughout the last semester, she collected art, photos, stories, and poems from friends, family, and strangers. On the big day, these bits and pieces were strewn together by PGA participants, creating new, changing narratives as the day wore on.
Next up: Town Crier. Boy was this one amazing! It was like a non-virtual twitter feed. We wrote down brief sentences on index cards and handed them to the crier who proceeded to read our “tweets” aloud through a megaphone for all of PGA to hear. After being announced, we tied our “tweets” to pieces of yarn that hung from the ceiling and left our words to mingle with everyone else’s ideas, opinions, and silly thoughts. Our favorite “tweet” of the day was the very first one: “I need soup!”
Next up was Paint Blast. It was definitely a blast. We dipped golf balls in paint and rolled them across a canvas on the ground. Messy, but so much fun.
And finally, we found ourselves at the last section — Sound Collective, created by yours truly and my crazy-awesome classmates Laura and Caitlin. We had a giant rainbow colored xylophone, a glittery metallic tunnel filled with tiny jingle bells, and the magnificent tambo-ring of fire. (Disclaimer: We didn’t actually set this on fire. That would have been crazy. Too crazy.) We putted through the tambo-ring using special tambourine clubs and then rounded the corner to the big finale — a game of darts with an enormous wall of balloons. Some balloons had noisemakers inside! People loved this.
By the end of the day, our balloon wall had seen hundreds and hundreds of people. We went through 1,000 balloons, folks. I consider that a measure of success.
Also a measure of our success: we be such good friends now! And I gotta give a special shout-out to all the artists, administrators, and volunteers who made PGA happen: Lucia Palmarini, David Marts, Brandea Turner, Jessica Weisensell, Carolyn Sybesma, Alistair Porter, Sarah Schwartz, Sam Funt, Caitlin Duerinck, Stephen DeSantis, Katie Collins, Emily D’Annunzio, Danielle Holtz, Sarah McHugh, Courtney St. Clair, Michael “Hoodie” LaHood, Chris Naka and the Workroom staff, Jefferson Godard, Kari Sommers, Building Services, DEPS, The Recycling Department, The Graduate Office, Student Organization Council, Xerox, Ace Hardware, Jo-Ann Fabrics, and Home Depot. It took a village!