Wear Your Art On Your Sleeve

With Pace students away for the summer, one would think professors would take time off to catch up on sleep and sun. But an artist’s work is never done. This summer, the Art Department faculty were busy traveling the world to practice what they teach.

Photograph from the Wall of Sound exhibit.

Featuring a summer filled with shows, exhibits, and residencies around the world, the Art Department at Pace spent the last few months honing their crafts—from traditional fine arts to cutting-edge social media experiments. Come September, they’ll return refreshed, inspired, and ready to impart their wisdom to Pace students. But, for now, we highlight how some of these talented professors spent their summer “vacations.”

Professor Roger Sayre has done some things that we can say with some confidence few have ever tried before. A few years ago, Sayre turned himself into a walking piece of art by offering to shave his beard into anything the highest bidder on eBay wanted. Under the title “Shave my beard for art, real life Wooly Willy,” he kicked off his auction at $4.99, generating thousands of hits and making newspaper and TV headlines worldwide. The end result was a $160 bid, which he generously donated to charity, and an “Amish” beard which he proudly wore for a month.

This summer, his fascination with hair has continued as Sayre’s work is part of the “Hair Tactics” exhibition, which explores hair as subject matter and medium at the Jersey City Museum on display through August 22.  Additionally, Sayre has a collaborative installation piece titled “Wall of Sound,” made of 11,000 CD cases, with artist and former Pace Professor David Poppie, currently on display in Downstreet Art 2010 in North Hampton, MA. Learn more about his work and current exhibits at www.rogersayre.com.

Assistant Professor Will Pappenheimer scored a major hit last year with his large-scale public art project “Mood Ring,” hosted by local news website Tampabay.com, which allowed visitors to rate the mood of an article and physically change the lights on the 30-foot steel superbowl ring-inspired structure he designed.  The installation was on display in Tampa for the time leading up to and including Super Bowl XLIII.

This summer, Pappenheimer tackled an even bigger project in China : the Virta-Flaneurazine Clinic, which boldly blurred the lines between art and society. In a sense a performance art project, Pappenheimer’s exhibition tests a digital drug that is meant to address the hypothetical current problem of “Internet addiction” by sending users on unpredictable travels throughout the virtual world of Second Life. For more information, click here.

There’s little rest for Pappenheimer who is preparing another project when he returns from China—this time with a class of students. This spring, the digital art expert will team up Martha Driver, one of Pace’s distinguished professors of English and an expert on medieval literature, to teach a Learning Community Course for first-year students. The course will be a combination of medieval art and literature. The kicker? They’re going to teach it using the 3D virtual world program, Second Life.

Art Department Chair Linda Herritt, whose accolades include a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Rockefeller Foundation Grant, National Endowment for the Arts Sculpture Fellowship, and prestigious Yaddo Residency, was busy giving words a whole new meaning this summer with Textbox, which depicted warped fields of text using computer modeling of landscape as an armature for presenting textual strategies. The exhibition, which ran through the end of June, was at 1K project space in Amsterdam. For more on Linda Herritt, click here.

From the Dyson Summer Resident Artist Exhibition beginning on September 1 to the Faculty Art Exhibition 2010 in PLV to “Me, My Camera, and I” a contemporary video art exhibition, there will be no shortage of exhibitions this fall on Pace campuses. Click here to learn more or visit the Peter Fingesten Gallery, Pace Digital Gallery, and Choate House Gallery.