Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Portraits of People on the Move- Gallery Set Up

One of my favorite days assisting Jennifer on the Portraits of People on the Move project was the first day we went to Crane Arts to set up the gallery space. This day was crazy busy since the performance was only a few days later. The first thing we did was unroll the giant prints of the panels and hang them in our pre-decided order, mostly based on location variety and occupation. Our method for hanging these huge prints (which came out beautifully, printed by Ben on really nice parachute paper) was for Jennifer to measure the wall and put in nails while Elise from Mural Arts and I measured and attached the hooks onto the prints. It was really awesome being able to see what I had put together on my tiny computer screen so large and in a physical form.

Once the panels were up, Elise and I got to work taking the printed book pages and arranging them into five portfolio books. Since each book had over 80 pages, it was a large task to tackle. Luckily we got into a rhythm and this assembly went pretty smoothly. These books were also really cool to see in a physical form, especially because I had never put a book together before, let alone of that size.

After we had assembled the books, I saw that Jennifer was sewing one of the props for the Supper, People on the Move performance. I knew we had a lot left to do (and I also really enjoy sewing) so I took over while she went to work on other parts of the project. This was a fun task for me to do since it had been awhile since I sewed any large projects. When I was finished, I had sewn together the layers and lace for the 20 foot table cloth used at the opening of the performance. It came out really nice and looked awesome under the lights during the dance.

One of the final tasks of the day was setting up the lights in the gallery. We both decided that if we didn’t do it, no one else would probably have the time to. Jennifer went to find a really big ladder while I went into one of the Crane Arts’ storage rooms to find their lights and hanging equipment. Unfortunately this didn’t appear to be super organized and most of the bulbs were burnt out. One of the reasons this was such a struggle, was because most of what did work in the storage room was a weird mixture of floodlights and spot lights. There was also a huge variety in the warm/cool tones that really showed through in the white spaces on the prints. Another issue was that since this gallery area was where people would be while waiting for Supper, People on the Move, we couldn’t leave any corners too too dark though we wanted to get enough light on the works. Through a lot of trial and error (and a lot of ladder moving) we finally arranged the lights to make the area look really nice.

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