ANTIGRAVITY is an endeavor premiered in 2018 to create an annual opportunity for emerging artists. Each spring, one artist will be selected to create an original site-specific work of art for the rotunda as a direct response to that architectural space, the historic building, and the permanent collection. The rotunda is a unique exhibition space within the museum that greets visitors as they enter the building.
Artist Rachel Hellmann’s site-specific mural recognizes the power of the sun and our inherent need for warmth. It also recognizes our desire to be connected after a difficult year with many facing challenging social isolation. Hellmann created this immersive mural as a warm greeting for visitors as they enter The Rockwell and as a nod to the strength and power of nature, as seen throughout the museum’s extensive collection.
Elaine K. Ng is an artist whose work explores the physical and psychological structures of site. Her practice includes material investigations and explorations of pattern, as well as writing and research to examine the various aspects that contribute to our collective knowledge of place.
Ng used bamboo, sassafras, cotton thread and rice paper to create a cloud-like experience as visitors enter and exit the Museum.
Melissa Vandenberg finds inspiration in ordinary materials, using items like matches, quilts, stickers, popsicles and temporary tattoos to address issues of power, mortality, patriotism and pride. Vandenberg used hundreds of handkerchiefs to create a site-specific installation in The Rockwell’s rotunda entryway. Vandenberg also had the opportunity to serve as a Guest Artist in the Corning Museum of Glass Hot Shop amphitheater.
Crystal Gregory uses textiles as veils and screens that restrict and alter our views of the surrounding space. Her work questions our awareness of the multiple filters and lenses through which we see the world.
The perfect fit for our Art + Science program year, Gregory experiments with media and plays with our expectations of how each material is used. Traditionally, metal serves as function and load-bearing, while lace is a non-structural, decorative element. Here, the roles have been reversed ‒ woven lace becomes the structural support while a cast pewter ribbon adorns the work’s lower edge. Through the Thread prompts us to consider the distortions of our own perspective.
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