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City of Madison News Release
For Immediate Release:
Apr 19, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Karin Wolf, Arts Program Administrator
Informational Website Link:
"Take a Break" on Earth Day
Blink Temporary Art Project
Blink Madison's Temporary Public Art Program Presents
Take a Break
By Hongtao Zhou
April 20-April 23, 2012
Are you going to be near the Capitol Square over the Earth Day weekend of April 22? The Madison Arts Commission invites you to stop by the Rotary Club Centennial Plaza* outside of the Madison Children's Museum and "Take a Break" with Madison artist Hongtao Zhou. That is where the artist will install a functional axe and tree stump chair park in honor of Earth Day.
"Take a Break" is comprised of a set of outdoor lounge chairs made with tree stump seats, large carved wooden axe chair-backs, and axe handle armrests. The installation is meant to be interactive. "The sculptures come to life when people sit on them," Hongtao says. Hongtao hopes this installation will raise awareness about the need to protect our planet from over production.
In his proposal to MAC, the artist explained that each day humans cut about 30 million trees and leave their much maligned remains everywhere from rain forests to urban jungles. The wood industry has not found it profitable to utilize the stumps they reject. The firewood industry does not like these irregular shaped castaways either. Even tree-loving home owners struggle when it comes time to dig stumps out from their yards.
Hangtao Zhou states: "I hope this piece inspires the public to rethink the ways in which humans cut off millions of natural connections between us and the rest of the natural world. The ecosystem in danger, we need to stop killing, sit down, relax a little bit and rethink our role in this planet."
Madison's Earth Day installation of "Take a Brake" is a Blink Temporary public art project of the Madison Art Commission. Hongtao Zhou created the work with help and support of the UW-Madison Art Department, Terry's firewood, Drift Studio and the Madison Arts Commission.
*The Rotary Club of Madison will celebrate its centennial in June 2013 by establishing a family-oriented plaza (Rotary Club Centennial Plaza) adjacent to the new Madison Children's Museum at the corner of Mifflin, Pinckney and Hamilton. They will use their centennial observance and the plaza to launch an annual Family Fair on the Square event, which they will co-brand with Madison Children's Museum. Their intent is to underscore Rotary's long-term commitment to downtown Madison both during and beyond their 100th year with a landmark space and a signature event. Rotary Club, the Madison Children's Museum, the City of Madison Planning Community and Economic Development Department and its Madison Arts Commission have identified this location as a prime spot to highlight temporary and permanent public art and design.
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 email@example.com
Next BLINK application deadline is June 1, 2012.