Well, it has been a year in the works, but the Grand Hall Project is installed. 'I Sit in Silence and I See' is a collaboration between myself and artists Leslie Leong and Linda Leon with a contribution
from Arthur Joe. Thanks to the Village of Haines Junction and the Arts Acquisition Committee for the opportunity. We were fortunate to be awarded the contract to produce a mural that wrapped around the 50 foot wide, 56 foot long and 24 foot high, Grand Hall Theatre of the St Elias Convention Centre in Haines Junction.
This major art installation is made from 1700 pounds of 12-gauge steel, cut in a bold relief-printing style motif and powder-coated black. The artwork incorporates aspects of the natural beauty of this area in the depiction of Land, Air and Water based animals and features.
After a year of planning, drawing, redrawing and reworking it was
exhilarating to see the pieces actually installed on the walls.
Of course, there were numerous challenges along the way, but we were able to continue to resolve the issues and bring the concept to life.
To see drawings, sometimes no larger than a few inches tall, become metal images up to 10 feet tall was fascinating and rewarding. During each stage of the process it was exciting to see the images take shape and increase in size. When we finally unloaded and unwrapped the actual cut metal pieces, I knew it was a reality. Of course, the installation of the work was daunting, but we were confident that we would get the artwork up somehow. For the most part, Leslie and I were able lift and hang the pieces together. However, for the largest pieces of the two feature panels (on either side of the stage at the front) we required an extra set of hands, additional muscle and some more height. Thanks to Andy Hall for that help.
We celebrated the completion of the project with a reception and
presentation for the public. Thank you again to the VHJ for hosting this event and thank you to those who attended. The final step was to make presentations to the students of St Elias Community School. They were a patient, enthusiastic and receptive audience and I enjoyed the time spent with them sharing the artwork, process and my experiences. I especially enjoyed learning the Southern Tutchone names of the animals from the Kindergarten class.
Now, it is time to get going on new projects!
If you are in Haines Junction, Yukon, make sure to stop by the St Elias Convention Centre and take a look!