In collaboration with the High School Learning Center (HSLC) of the Corning-Painted Post Area School District and Corning Community College (CCC), students worked with Teaching Mural Artist Tori Burdick, HSLC Coordinator Dave Quackenbush, CCC Art Professor Hiram Cray and Rockwell Education staff to design a public art mural in our community. The mural design, Worlds Collide, is an exploration of The Rockwell’s 2022 annual theme, Spark! From Inspiration to Creation and is inspired by artwork in the Museum’s collection. This exhibition celebrates the 14th Alley Art Project featuring students’ individual paintings on wood canvases that are incorporated into the design.
Worlds Collide Student Exhibition will be on view June 8 – September 11, 2022.
Students studied Navigating by Our Grandmothers by Rosalie Favell (Cree Métis) and thought about family heritage and how artists use symbols in art to represent different aspects of culture and identity. Students also viewed Robin Tichane’s woodblock print series that explores color and color theory. His work incorporates layers of pigment that depict landscape scenes with water, earth, the sky, sun and moon. Nature can sometimes provide an escape from reality to process emotions. The visible galaxies and sky scenes in the art prompted students to think about their connection to nature.
During the mural design course, students created mixed-media paintings on locally sourced wood canvases. The knots and grains of each unique wood slab parallel students’ own artistic journeys and paths through life. In addition, students visited and hiked Spencer Crest Nature Center on the CCC campus to draw inspiration from the flora and fauna of the local environment. Elements from the individual student artworks are incorporated into the complex woodland mural scene.
The mural design features a young woman and a great horned owl framed by a glowing sunset and the deep growth of a forest. The sunset fades to a starlit night sky sparking our human connection to our local landscape and fostering a sense of place in the Corning community. Each student’s work is represented as a tree in the mural design, growing together to form an interconnected forest.
Worlds Collide will be painted at the CCC, Digital Dome Theater in mid-August. This year is an exciting expansion to the project collaboration with Corning Community College and the opportunity to create a mural on our local college campus. HSLC and CCC students will paint under the direction of Tori Burdick, Hiram Cray and Rockwell Education staff. A celebratory community ribbon cutting will be held at the completion of the mural project.
Worlds Collide Mural Description:
The design will wrap around the interior planetarium wall, creating an immersive experience as visitors walk around the dome to enter and exit the seated section. As visitors walk around the mural, design aspects and wood grain details of the trees will be revealed. The imagery tells a story of worlds colliding and creative sparks of ideas intersecting. The illustration prompts the viewer to consider how we navigate the world and appreciate artistic details found in nature such as wood grain, constellations, water reflections and the feathered wingspan of owls.
No pure black is present in this design; rather, indigo, violet, sepia, and shades of gray are used to represent the darkness in a way that is rich and reflective. Iridescent and metallic tones will be strategically incorporated throughout the design to shimmer against the surface.
Mural Location: Corning Community College Digital Dome Theater
Wall dimensions: 61’ 3.5” length x 7’ 7” height
Local professional artist, Tori Burdick, was raised in Corning, NY. She continues to create murals and community art projects in the Elmira, Corning and Ithaca region, specializing in figurative work, with a preference for large-scale murals and works on wood. She has exhibited with Community Arts of Elmira & Tri-County Arts Council. She participates in the Elmira Street Painting Festival annually and has been working with The Rockwell in many capacities for the Alley Art Project since 2020.
Through her art, Tori seeks to dissect the cultural climate of her generation and challenge misconceptions that many people face. She often explores themes that are explicitly feminist, with the goal of empowering and challenging the viewer through her art. She aims to portray multiple perspectives and give agency to underrepresented voices in our community. Tori is passionate about working with youth and making art more accessible to people in community environments.
Public art transcends the boundaries of physical museum walls and makes art accessible to everyone in the community. The Rockwell believes that public art has the power to bring people together, encourage conversation and ignite the imagination. You can explore all the murals in downtown Corning through the Alley Art Project Scavenger Hunt.
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