Reflections from the Banks of the Yahara River

May 12, 2014

Blink Temporary Public Art

“Reflections on the Banks of the Yahara River” is bringing temporary art installations by five local artists to the parkway this summer In the heart of Madison’s East Side, at the gateway to the dynamic Cap East District, the Yahara River Parkway is about to become a destination of its own. Between Lakes Mendota and Monona, five unique Blink temporary art installations will roll out in mid-May.
 
There will be a free public Art Walk to launch the exhibit on May 17 from 2:00- 3:00 p.m. All are welcome. The tour begins at the John Wall Family Pavilion at Tenney Park. Artists will be present to talk about their installations.
 
The exhibition “Reflections on the Banks of the Yahara River,” organized by neighborhood residents Jessica Becker and Helen Sarakinos, celebrates the unique value and beauty of the Yahara River. Neighbors, tourists, commuters, families, all are welcome to wander the parkway and discover the art. Organizers and artists hope people will see the common with fresh eyes and enjoy the natural landscape in new ways. “This exhibit will invite you to be a tourist in your own town,” says Becker. “And you get to enjoy the vision of an impressive group of artists.”
 
The five local artists were selected from a public call for submissions. The artists, Thomas Ferrella, Brenda Gratton, John Miller, Chris Murphy, Amy Wencel, are each creating unique works that highlight the history of the Yahara River and Parkway, the geography of the landscape, the ecology of the region, and the culture of the neighborhood. Additionally, Jessica Becker is creating way-finding signs pointing attention to the exhibition and the Yahara River. Descriptions of each artist’s work and a map of the installations can be found on the exhibit website: www.yaharareflections.com.
 
Becker and Sarakinos were inspired after working together in 2013 on the Fools Flotilla, an annual musical canoe parade on the Yahara River each June. Founded by Sarakinos and the River Alliance of Wisconsin, the parade is family friendly and draws people to the River to paddle in decorated canoes, as well as to watch the spectacle from the banks and bridges.  “We tend to think we have to drive someplace far away to enjoy a river,” says Sarakinos. “But this exhibit is all about celebrating the little blue gem right here in our urban neighborhood.”
 
The project is supported by City of Madison BLINK! Temporary Public Art funding and has received approval and support from the City of Madison Parks Division, Friends of the Yahara River Parkway, Alders Marsha Rummel and Ledell Zellers and the neighborhood associations that border the river.
 
For more information about the Madison Arts Commission’s BLINK! program, please visit our website at http://www.cityofmadison.com/MAC/grants/Blink.cfm or contact Karin Wolf, the Arts Program Administrator kwolf@cityofmadison.com
Next BLINK application deadline is June 1, 2014.
 

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