Wednesday, October 28, 2009

To Be or Not To Be

The Museum of Peripheral Art is currently developing its board and is seeking status as a non-profit educational organization in order to financially and creatively manage public art programs and projects. This status was pursued a couple years ago but was put on the back burner to develop the concept further.

Mission Statement
The Museum of Peripheral Art (MoPA) is a network of public art projects experienced in limitless contexts and environments.

Vision Statement
MoPA will be a catalyst for community development through the introduction of and dialogue with art at the street level.

Strategic Planning
MoPA’s long range plans are to establish MoPA sites around the world, which would be collaboratively created in conjunction with art education programs.

I have written before about the first MoPA project (see The Wall), which was is an outdoor shrine to my neighborhood and passersby. The first indoor MoPA exhibit was on December 2, 2006 and was held in a room in my house that was converted into a gallery. MoPA projects are primarily serendipitous encounters on town and city streets in niches and vacant display windows. Part of the scope of MoPA is to extend public space into private space, encouraging shop keepers and homeowners to turn over part of their property for the public. For this event, a room was given the name 209 South Broad Street Gallery and a show was put on for the neighborhood. The show was called The Winter House: Lost & Found and is explained in the invite:

The 'winter house' is the zoo building for animals that would not survive a winter in their viewing cages. The 209 South Broad Street Gallery is taking in a collection of sculptures from The Wall for the winter. The pieces are shown with a selection of other works that share the status of being lost and found. They have either lost their owner or function, but they have also been found; their forms rediscovered. Please join us for wine and cheese this Saturday, December 2 from 5-6 pm, for this pre-tree lighting event.

Some of the objects in the show included Tropaion, Polyphemus and Petina. Tropaion, (pictured at the top of this entry) was named after the Greek origin of the word trophy, which meant a monument of an enemy's defeat. It consisted of the spoils of the vanquished foe displayed at the respective battlefield or the capitol of the conquered nation. Many trophies were left at The Wall, as was the metal casing of this piece, originally for a clock. In Tropaion, a modern silver swimmer prepares to dive through an ancient building. Polyphemus, (pictured in the invite) is named after Homer's cyclops whom Ulysses blinds in The Odyssey. The two orifices of this piece allude to both the plucked eye socket and the groaning mouth of the giant. Petina (pictured left) is the mascot of MoPA and although its origin is a mass-produced lawn ornament, it has developed a unique character though its own demise after leaving its comfortable life on a suburban lawn. It is also the inspiration for the show, protecting it further from the elements, giving this animal a true winter house.