Move With Me, a pinwheel installation

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(all photos by John Andrews unless otherwise noted) 

MoveWithMe is a community art installation of multiple sailcloth pinwheels that embodies the connection of cultures across waters and land from the past to now, moving in confluence when the wind is just right.

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Front Street

The project transforms Front Street with 369 pinwheels, many of which are hand colored with personal interpretations of cultural patterns from places along Salem’s famous maritime trade.

When still, the pinwheels look like magnolias. They begin to spin sporadically, sometimes just one on a line, at other times multiple pinwheels spin in unison. They surprise. Only intended as a three day installation, the project will stay up through October. The sun has begun to bleach the hand colored patterns, as the sun bleaches the sails of long journeys across the waters.

04_jaMoveWithMe re-uses sailcloth donated by Doyle Sailmakers. The minimal design of knotting rope, to keep each pinwheel in place as it spins on its grommet, reduced hardware. Material budget: under $300. The small budget inspires us to be resourceful and mindful in our design: do we need to buy up bulk stock from Home Depot when we can re-use waste products from a local business and also build a relationship? Do we need to buy new materials when using waste product makes much more sense for a temporary project?

Design in Conversation: transition from tension cables to ropes with slack

Design in Conversation: transition from tension cables to ropes with slack

 

As an artist and architect, how can I adapt my vision to changing circumstances? Initially, I envisioned perfectly straight lines of pinwheels in geometric contrast with the flutter of the tree canopies; this would have required strong and costly cables. The use of the rope allowed for flexibility, and creates a different relationship with the context: the pinwheels are no longer in contrast, but rather in dialogue with the organic nature of trees.

Process is Product

Process is Product: without the participation and the relationships created, there could be no community project

The pinwheels were collaboratively created at multiple workshops at PEM/PM’s Artopia, The Phoenix School, Salem Academy, Old Town Hall, and weekly workshops held 10 Derby Square.

#MoveWithMe was installed for the 2016 Salem Arts Festival, and led by Claudia Paraschiv, local architect and community artist.

The community art project transforms a familiar space in Salem through an environmentally and financially sustainable project that is in dialogue with the city’s culture and involves as many people as possible. Participate in next year’s project (TBD) starting February 2017! Sign up on our email list to get early info on participating! 

Make YOUR Pinwheel!

Pinwheel Making Workshops every Tuesday in April 6-8pm at 10 Derby Square! Join us! (space is limited)mwm_invitation to participate_Page_1

You are Invited to Participate!
We’re excited to introduce Move With Me, this year’s participatory community art installation for the Salem Arts Festival.

We invite participants to connect to Salem’s continued legacy of sailing by creating pinwheels from sailcloth donated by Doyle Sailmakers, a local institution since 1982! We use the wasted bits and left over pieces to create pinwheels playfully reminiscent of power-generating turbines.

Participants connect to distant cultures by taking time to draw out cultural patterns from across the world, directly onto the sailcloth with permanent markers to withstand the rain.

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Choose a country you’d like to represent, dig up a cultural pattern, textile or motif and draw it on a sailcloth square! (Contact us for pinwheel kits.) The pinwheels lightly touch Front Street and are made of mostly recycled materials.

The multiple pinwheels above Front Street, like a movable quilt of cultural patterns, will embody the communal movement and connection of cultures across waters and land from the past to now, moving in confluence when the wind is just right.

In the months leading to the festival on June 3-5, Claudia and others will lead workshops to color and make these pinwheels. Join her at 10 Derby Square every Tuesday in April from 6-8pm!

Deadline to receive your sailcloth square(s): April 30th
Deadline to contribute your colored square(s): May 31st

CONTACT US!

Move With Me is led by Claudia Paraschiv, local architect, public artist, and founder of Salem Public Space Project. In 2014 she led the participatory project HulaArt over Artists Row. Last year, local fiber artist Kate Babcock led Front Yard Street Art. Leslie Lavesque and the Phoenix School students have been instrumental in the development of these community art projects. A big thank you to Kylie Sullivan of Main Streets for enabling it all and John Andrews of Creative Salem for documenting it all!

Move With Me

Front St View yellow

Through Salem Public Space Project, I led the first community art project at the Salem Arts Festival in 2014, Hula Art, a canopy of hula-hoops over Artists’ Row. The project was a collection of individual art expressions, aggregated together to create a unified installation greater than the sum of its parts. This value of the personal gathered to create a communal work was continued last year with Front Yard Street Art, led by Kate Babcock – fiber artist, and also this year with Move With Me, a pinwheel installation.

We soaked up our locale to guide this year’s project.

courtesy of google images

courtesy of google images

From 1776 to 1812, residents of Salem traded with numerous countries around the world so that they “were also among the handful of people at the time who had direct personal knowledge of the world’s incredibly diverse peoples, art and cultures.” (Dan Monroe, PEM, quoted in the Smithsonian) Wind powered those 18th century sails that connected Salem to the world. That same wind moves through Salem today, 240 years later, in a world more connected than ever.

Currently, a turbine proposal on Winter Island demonstrates how we continue to harness the power of wind to power our way of life. Thinking back on our rich maritime history, and mindful of our shared world as a dialogue between cultures and natural forces, we developed Move With Me.

Doyle Factory

Doyle Sails Factory and Sailcloth to be recycled…. as Pinwheels!

Move With Me invites participants to connect to our continued legacy of sailing by creating pinwheels from sailcloth donated by Doyle Sailmakers, a local institution since 1982! We use the wasted bits and left over pieces to create pinwheels playfully reminiscent of power-generating turbines. Participants connect to distant cultures by taking time to draw out cultural patterns from across the world, directly onto the sailcloth.

The multiple pinwheels above Front Street, like a movable quilt of cultural patterns, will embody the communal movement and connection of cultures across waters and land from the past to now, moving in confluence when the wind is just right.

George, who works at Doyle, even came by my studio later that day to help troubleshoot and figure out the ideal size of the pinwheels!

George Dietz, who works at Doyle, even came by my studio later that day to help troubleshoot and figure out the ideal size of the pinwheels!

I began the process with an encouraging trip to Doyle Sailmakers. Janet Doyle connected with our concept and graciously accepted to be part of our project. We only wanted unusable sailcloth since temporary art can otherwise be so wasteful of our resources.

Move With Me Public Art project photos by Creative Salem_0154

Leslie and Claudia discuss using a template to cut a square from the sailcloth. (photo Creative Salem)

ccp at phoenix

photos Creative Salem

We then began this process in earnerst, as in other years, with the creative students at the Phonenix School! (Thank you, Leslie Lavesque!) Together we worked out pattern sizes and visibility if pinwheels are installed 15 feet above street level, which way to fold the pinwheel arms, and whether to hang them like “propellers” or “ceiling fans” – all this is certainly still in the works!

Move With Me Public Art project photos by Creative Salem_0189

Photo Creative Salem

PHOENIX PATTERNS

We scaled up our efforts when the entire 9th grade class of Salem Academy Charter School joined the effort at Old Town Hall! We discussed how we connect to other cultures by beginning with the familiar maritime trade.

Students choose country and cultural pattern

Students choose country and cultural pattern

In the East India Marine Hall at the Peabody Essex Museum, over 25 countries are represented in the two cabinets of “curiosities” collected over two centuries ago. We used these nations as a jumping off point of choosing different cultures to represent. Interestingly, many of the places represented, due to travel by sail, are island nations, which happen to be the most vulnerable in our changing climate.

PEM East India Marine Hall Cabinets

PEM East India Marine Hall Cabinets with objects from maritime trade places

Salem Maritime Trade Places represented in the PEM Cabinets, and as cultural patterns for Move With Me

Salem Maritime Trade Places represented in the PEM Cabinets, and as cultural patterns for Move With Me

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Art and conversation at the workshop and an example of the Phoenix School pinwheels strung up in Old Town Hall. (photos Creative Salem)

Next time we meet, students will bring patterns from countries that hold personal meaning to them. I am excited to represent the whimsical patterns of Romania, my country of birth.

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Alexandra Peterson (of Konceptual) and Claudia Paraschiv (Salem Public Space Project and Studioful) aid in the cultural-pattern drawing (photos Creative Salem)

 

It was wonderful to speak with students about their choices of cultural patterns, the various types of sailcloth, the need for the pinwheels to withstand potential bad weather, and the joy of making art!

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Two vastly different interpretations of a traditional Chinese flower pattern

You too can join! contact us: salempublicspaceproject{at}gmail.com or come participate in the workshop at Artopia PEM/PM, Thursday March 17! 

A how-to manual and more news on our progress coming soon!

A big thank you to John Andrews for the great photos for Creative Salem!

Snow Boundries

Snow Ways

Snow Ways

How does the snow change what you see? What is visible, now? What is invisible now? How do you decide where to stop shoveling? How do you know who can shovel? What does a shoveling style show?

 

Greenspace and Splashpad at Mary Jane Lee Park


Splashpad Plan MJLP 2014.09.05_Page_1

The City of Salem secured a $200,000 state grant to place a splashpad in one of its parks. Having worked in the Point neighborhood through the Salem Public Space Project, and now affiliated with Friends of Mary Jane Lee Park, I am excited that the City has chosen Mary Jane Lee Park for the splashpad that has long been desired by residents. A wonderful prospect for the kids!

This is one of the biggest public space investments in the Point neighborhood in many years. Unfortunately, the location of the new amenity comes at a great cost. Although the park is half greenspace and half asphalt, the City plans to locate the impermeable surface of the splashpad in place of the green-space. We, at Friends of Mary Jane Lee Park, propose it be located on the asphalt.

Splashpad Plan MJLP 2014.09.05_Page_2

Although the City has offered to recreate green space next spring, it cannot be as large as the current common green space. The current location reveals a mismanagement of resources: why tear up green space, only to relocate it later? In addition, the City Proposed location of the spalshpad will result in cutting down the mature evergreen tree. The plans stipulate the addition of more trees, but they do not replace a mature tree for its benefits to mitigating air pollution. With the current configuration, the park parcel is not large enough to include all of the planned (and welcome) activities by the City that include: Splashpad, Children Ride Track, Playground, Greenspace, and Parking. Our proposal can include all of these activities and the largest possible surface area of permeable green space. Furthermore, the splashpad will serve as water play three months out of the year – the rest it will be a concrete, impermeable surface.

Friends of Mary Jane Lee Park have gathered over 250 signatures of residents that prefer we relocate the splashpad to keep the green space!

Spring play by the pine tree

Spring play by the evergreen tree

The Point Visioning Plan, developed by a coalition of state, city, and neighborhood groups, stipulates that “greening” the Point is a top priority. Currently, the neighborhood has the least amount of distributed green space. The neighborhood is four times as dense as the rest of Salem, and many residents don’t have outside space, front or back yards; they go to the park to enjoy green space.

Despite meetings and emails, we have not been given any concrete reason as to how and why the proposed location was determined. The City asserts we need fast action as the splashpad needs to be completed by December or we can lose the funding! The first public meeting that showed the location was on July 28th. That was only about six weeks ago. There will be another public meeting next Tuesday. Come support the new splashpad amenity and maintaining green space in the Point!

Park and Recreation Commission Meeting August 19, 2014, at 6:45 p.m. 5 Broad Street (Senior Center)

Mary Jane Lee Park Clean Up Day

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Informal conversations and a lot of clean up at the park

Saturday, August 30th, from nine to noon the community joined Friends of Mary Jane Lee Park and cleaned up the park! We sifted sand, removed graffiti, pulled weeds, raked grass, and of course, picked up trash. In addition to residents, we were joined by Councilpersons William Legault, at large, and Heather Famico, Ward 2.

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Some of the women of Friends of Mary Jane Lee Park, who organized the clean-up.

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After the clean-up, participants line up for pizza, juice, and cookies.

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Heather Famico, Ward 2 Councilwoman, was impressed with the cleaning efforts of her two young helpers!

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Sand sifting: sounds easier than it is!

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Nature needed a little trim too.

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Doreen Thomas, president of Friends of Mary Jane Lee Park, sure knows how to orchestrate!

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Linda Locke, Friends of Mary Jane Lee Park, welcomes Councilman Bill Legault to the effort.

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Helpers, and posters, brooms galore.

There was plenty of conversation too about the future of the park, especially since the City of Salem recently obtained a grant for a new splash-pad – a water based sculpture where children (and adults) will be able to play. You may have seen the Ring Fountain on the Boston Greenway that draws crowds on summer days. Residents have ideas about the shape and location of the welcome addition.

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Participants look at splash pad examples.

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Zena, Friends of Mary Jane Lee Park, points out her favorite spalsh pad in Albion Park, Somerville.

Have you been to any of these splash-pads around Boston?

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