Puzzle Installation Project History:
THE ORIGINAL NEED:
The Monmouth County Arts Council wanted to add a live collaborative installation project to the Teen Arts Festivals.
The Monmouth County Arts Council's Sandy Taylor and Marie Maber of Brookdale wanted a way for each students individual voice to be included with others in a collaborative effort. Along with the artist, Tim Kelly, it was decided that a big "jigsaw puzzle" may be a clever solution. The "Puzzle" installation project was born.
As with most art related events in todays economic climate, we were tight on financial resources. The cost of materials needed to complete the project properly was beyond our budget. Not good.
Tim Kelly found help were he does time and again. As resident artist at SurfTaco, he's learned from working with Rob Nagel (SurfTaco founder), that the Taco has a sympathetic ear for art. It didn't take long for SurfTaco to see the value in the project and step up to the plate. Rob offered to pay for the materials and generously offer SurfTaco's space for any preparation or project needs. We couldn't have done it without them.
The folks at the Belmar Arts Council proved that the strength of art is found in the artists themselves. Several artists and volunteers from the BAC showed up one sunny weekend to generously help prep the puzzle materials. We turned each 8'x4' sheet of foam core (paid for by SurfTaco) into 8 individual puzzle pieces. The universal puzzle piece die was created by Tim and produced by routing the shape out of 1/8" styrene. We were tracing, cutting, chatting and listening to tunes until approx. 800 pieces were prepped for the installation.
Below are pictures of prep day. The first photo is of the sun rising over the ocean in the morning just prior to us meeting. We took it as a good omen...
The Art is Good creative workshops, hosted by Tim Kelly, were a great place to make some sample puzzle pieces. See some pictures from the workshop.
THE HIGH SCHOOL OUTREACH:
The Monmouth County Arts Council sent artists, Sandy Taylor & Tim Kelly to local high school art, writing & photography departments to discuss the project and distribute blank 24"x24" puzzle pieces, as well as show sample pieces.
Soon artists of all ages began meeting for casual puzzle making sessions.
It was a fun and cathartic form of expression.
THE INITIAL INSTALLATION SETUP:
On Friday the 13th of March, Sandy & Dave Taylor, their friend Gary, Tim Kelly and Robert Maber setup the metal support structure for the installation in the Visual Arts Gallery at Brookdale Community College. The first puzzle pieces were joined together.
On Tuesday, March 17th (St. Patricks Day) we received and assembled all of the puzzle pieces created prior to the festival. The students work was inspiring and the puzzle combinations were endless. It surpassed all of our expectations.
2009 TEEN ARTS FESTIVAL:
On Thursday, 3.19 & Friday 3.20, a few thousand high school arts students took over Brookdales campus for two days of art, music, dance, preformance, poetry, and much more. We offered two days of nonstop puzzle making. Our team of puzzle artists helped students utilize the paints, collage materials, mixed media, markers and most importantly, their own ideas to make puzzle pieces. It was inspiring and dynamic. The room was alive and the young artists fed off of each other and the puzzle team fed off of the students. It truly was beautiful. The work produced in such a short period of time, transformed the collaborative installation into a work of art. See Pictures.
After Brookdale, it was installed at SurfTaco at 1003 Main Street in Belmar, NJ.
Several sub-installations are currently being developed across the country and around the world. School of Creative and Performing Arts in San Diego found us and made the project bi-coastal. The YMCA in Brooklyn started making puzzle pieces at several locations. Then Monmouth County Library System hosted Art is Good puzzle making workshops at all of their branches. Soon we were making puzzle pieces with companies, schools, organizations, supports groups, communities and with random artists.
THE FUTURE OF THE PUZZLE PROJECT:
The project has been continuously traveling and growing around the USA and across the globe. Thanks to things like Google, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, people find us. Thanks to Skype, Tim can connect with new participants around the world. The Puzzle Project has become an artisitic movement. It is a "Human" project that tells the story of us.
Have you made your puzzle piece?
Puzzle Pieces can be picked up by appointment at
Creative Seven, LLC - 67 West Street, 4th Floor/C22 Brooklyn, NY 11222
Puzzle Making Workshops
are brought to you by
fun workshop pictures:
SurfTaco generously paid for the
8'x4' white sheets of 1/4" foamcore
used to make the first 800 puzzle pieces.
Tim Kelly produced a universal
puzzle piece die out of 1/8" styrene.
Sandy, Pat, Hutch, Tim and
the other kind artists from the
Belmar Arts Council got the project
started by spending an afternoon
tracing and cutting blank puzzle pieces.
We gave the initial blank puzzle pieces
to high school students, kids, teens,
and adult artists...together the start of
this installation is what we created.
Recieves a puzzle introduction, which includes sample puzzle pieces and background information regarding the Puzzle Art Installation & Collaborative Project.
Hosts "Art is Good" creative workshops for puzzle making. Art supplies and support are provided (optional).
Displays a micro-installation of the puzzle artwork made by the group as a large collaborative jigsaw puzzle. Each artist is able to invite friends & family to see what they contributed to the puzzle project.
Includes their micro-installation with the larger puzzle installation, along with the thousands of other pieces created (optional).
Each and every artist that creates a puzzle piece becomes a contributing artist in the historic Puzzle Art Installation & Collaborative Project.