Have you ever wondered how the art that surrounds you actually came to exist? I know I walk by the paintings behind my desk so frequently that I simply don’t stop and think about how they actually embody the finished products and efforts or an artist’s thoughts, minds and actions. Art’s a process—many times an all-encompassing, scrutinizing and difficult one.
In that train of thought, I reached out to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra to discuss the “ARTini,” or martini-inspired sculpture, its staff created for our upcoming ARTini event. Before the creative cocktail concoctions and the “ARTini” auction where guests can purchase the piece, I wanted to better understand the sculpture, how it came to be and why it’s important to the Symphony in general. Luckily, Katie Bonner, Manager of Public Relations & Special Projects, took some time to answer a few of these questions for me:
What inspired the Hartford Symphony to create its own ARTini sculpture for the event?
The centerpiece of the Hartford Symphony’s season this year is our LIFE Project, a multi-discipline music and art event dedicated to raising awareness about nature through the arts. At the heart of the project is LIFE: A Journey Through Time, a multimedia extravaganza for the senses featuring breathtaking photographs from National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting. His six-year journey to discover new insights about life on Earth will be musically choreographed with an elegant composition from Philip Glass. Led by HSO Music Director Carolyn Kuan, the HSO will perform LIFE: A Journey Through Time at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, April 27, 2013.
We used our ARTini sculpture as an opportunity to demonstrate visually how music and nature can have a symbiotic relationship. In our ARTini, the music from the base of the glass transitions and grows seamlessly into a flowering plant and thriving ecosystem. It also shows how music and the arts can help support a healthy environment.
How did the Symphony actually go about constructing its ARTini? What can you tell us about the creative process behind the piece?
After determining the overall look of our ARTini, we used a mix of Bach Cello Suite sheet music, paper maché, Elmer’s glue, watercolor paint, masking tape, glass beads, potting soil, moss, aloe plants, cacti and ferns. Aside from a few glued together fingers and paint spills, it was a painless process!
Art, as we know, is definitely a process. How has creating this ARTini affected the staff of the Symphony?
It took four of our staff members to create and assemble our ARTini: paper maché guru Laura Gonzalez; terrarium goddess Tracy Wu Fastenberg; paper cutter extraordinaire Sarah Hopkins; and myself. You might say we are a little overprotective of our ARTini…Buyer Beware: You might find four HSO staff members at your door with instructions on how to care for your living ARTini!
Many thanks to Katie and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra for taking the time to answer my questions. If you want to see the sculpture for yourself, head to ARTini this Thursday, Sept. 27 at 6pm at Hartford’s Union Station. Tickets are $40 and you can buy them online at LetsGoArts.org/ARTini. Hope to see you there!