Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A (Long Overdue) Look Inside The Paper Ball: Figge Gala 2015

Earlier this year I had the chance to be part of the planning process for the The Figge Art Museum's annual fundraising Gala.  We had an upcoming show featuring works on paper, so it was decided way back in January to make the theme of this year's gala, paper.

Paper.  Paper.  Paper.

This post will only focus on the decorating/transforming activities on the 3rd floor of the museum (and some images of the entryway because it was so awesome).  Bear in mind, there was a small army of volunteers tackling an array of issues (menu, invitations, grab bag contents, volunteer coordination, main lobby decorations, etc) that although I don't have any images to show off what they accomplished, it was a large team effort from start to finish.

Early in the process, I started amassing large quantities of newspapers.......

There were primarily two things we are creating: rolled newspaper tubes, and I-Beams made from Builder Board.  This work session was all about the rolled newspaper tubes (which would ultimately be turned into triangles).

David and Wynne Schaffer rolling away on the newspaper.  Note how Wynne is turned away from the camera?  Almost as if she were focused on chatting with someone else just outside of the picture........

Here is Wynne Schaffer rolling newspaper tubes and also pretending to not be distracting Dana Wilkinson from her work

Dana, trying to work while resisting Wynne's bad influence........  How often do you get a big time interior designer (Check out Dana's world at Paragon Interiors) to roll newspapers?

Eileen Eitrheim's student workers Claire Swift and Zach Lindquist getting hands-on/in-the-trenches marketing/event experience.

Laura Dunn organizing sections of newspaper for 'the rollers'.....

Raelene Pullen employing her special 'motivational techniques' on an unruly worker while Jennifer Saintfort redoubles her efforts on turning the tubes into triangles in order to avoid disciplinary action from management.......

Amy Trimble folding paper flowers for the entryway.  Amy also owns/runs WaterMark Corners.

Eileen and Jan Harper working on the flowers for the entry way experience and hors devours table.

Kelsey Gross and Sam Lemieux also contributing to the war effort.

After several hours of labor, we had a monster stack of triangles to work with.

I had the Four-Foot Assassin helping me with creating I-beams and girders out of Builder Board.  Before I go any further, I must thank Dean Kugler for introducing me to Builder Board (and consequently, saving me from myself).  Builder Board is a thick cardboard material that comes in large rolls (it's used to protect completed/nice floors during construction).  We ran the rolls/tubes through Dean's table saw and turned them into 7 3/4" x 50' rolls (which ultimately got broken down into 10' sections and folded into shape.

Some girders and rolled newspaper tube triangles waiting to be transformed.

It's difficult to host a paper ball without paper balls.  Lynn Gingras-Taylor is busy covering some of the weather balloons utilized for the recent Katja Loher: Videoplanet - Orchestra exhibition at The Figge Art Museum.  Check out Katja Loher's work by visiting her website.  Just click HERE.

It's difficult to expect adults to retain that 'adult veneer' when provided with air-filled squishy orbs, and a large room.  We lost at least 30 minutes of productivity having playtime.

Dean Kugler doing his best to be like his childhood idol, Pele.

Anyway, back to work.  Terry Rathje and Dean Kugler placing the first girder to serve as part of the entry gate into the space.

Regarding placement a layout, I tried to keep the pre-planning/expectations to a minimum so Terry, Dean and I would have a close to a blank 'canvas' as possible to work with.

Everything was starting to take shape....

Dean Kugler making some last minute modifications to an I-beam.

I didn't take any pictures of her helping with the lighting, but Robin Hill was a huge help with the lighting -and by 'huge help', I mean she basically did the whole thing, so, 'Thanks Robin!'

I would also be remiss if I didn't thank Andrew, Bob, and Tony for all of their help with the physical installation of the space.

The colored lighting in conjunction with the paper and the I-beams created some beautiful shadows on the walls.

Eileen's paper flowers made an awesome centerpiece to the hors d' oeuvers table.

A decent panoramic shot of the installation with Sam hanging out in the center.

Pensive artists shot (*note hands to chin and furrowed brows.....)

Casual shot.....

Before I wrap this post up, I think it is important to see the entry way into the Paper Ball.  This was Eileen's baby (along with several volunteers) and was an excellent way to change the space and establish the mood of the event for the rest of the evening.  It is hard to overstate how important it was for the success of the event to create such a strong first impression.

By no small miracle, Dean and Sam showed up early and eager to tear down the Gala that next morning.  There are no words to describe my level of relief seeing everything already down and into a pile.  Thanks Dean and Sam.

Ahhhh.  The 2015 Figge Gala is in the books.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

All Good Things......

This past weekend marked the end of the line for allinitogether -a collaborative sculpture space dreamed up by Terry Rathje and constructed by Terry, Dean Kugler, and me.

So The Four-Foot Assassin and I, along with Terry Rathje, started dismantling the structure out on the Figge Plaza (technically I think it is the Bechtel Plaza) in the morning.  By the height of the afternoon heat, the temperature reached 96 degrees with a heat index of 108.  There's no way of denying that it was hot, but Terry and I both agreed that, compared to what we experienced in Moengo, the heat had nothing on Suriname.

and down she goes........

A shot of Terry landing the coup de grace to allinitogether.



Just a few blocks down the street from The Figge Art Museum was the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile -I assume Wiener Man and Lil' Smokey were off fighting crime nearby.....

While the three of us were slaving away in the sun, Mr. Dean Kugler was off a little over an hour away in Cedar Rapids showing off his sculpture The Desecration Of Adam.  I helped Dean on Saturday finish constructing his trailer to haul the sculpture.

Here's the trailer before adding the walls and roof.

Several shots of the sculpture itself.

Amazing work in the hands.

I noticed over in the dumpster Dean's face from allinitogether cut in half and discarded (Dean had actually taken down his cells on Friday so he could recycle the wood for his trailer.......and I suspect to avoid the heat).

Yeah, this face.

Just enough of a shell on the trailer to protect his sculpture, but open enough for people to look at it while he's driving it to the show.  Now if he only had a sign on the side that said  http://deankugler.com/...........

Imagine seeing this as you head down the road.

Coming soon, we'll finally take a look at the 2015 Figge Gala AND I have a BUNCH of other artists' artwork from Moengo Festival to show you.