Monday, April 11, 2011

The Nest Project photo album and interview with the organizers

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, we wonder where the birdies is...

The Alexandria creative community has nest fever! The photos of the nests created and installed around the Torpedo Factory Art Center and on our Old Town waterfront speak for themselves; each a glorious mish-mash of items, sticks and interpretive symbols spelling out the artists' views of home. We're particularly proud of our Art League members and instructors, Carlos Beltran Baldiviezo and Nick Xhiku, who each have their own nests, and the collaborative work of Alison Sigethy and Lisa Schumaier, who designed the masterpiece sitting in the waterfront gazebo.
 Carlos Beltran Baldiviezo of The Art League School
Nick Xhiku of The Art League School

The waterfront gazebo featuring the work of Alison Sigethy and Lisa Schumaier

Rose O'Donnell, our gallery director, spoke about the Nest project and how The Art League got involved. 

"It goes all the way back to last fall," she says. "Mary Cook, director of the Target Gallery, and I were approached by a group called Keys From the Crisis. They worked for the National Housing Initiative and wanted to do a project with us." The result was an exhibit consisting of a creatively-hung key collection, meant to represent the massive amount of foreclosed homes in the area.

Fast forward to the New Year, when the gallery staff was already talking about a new show inspired by the idea of "home." "Mary came up with the idea of a nest," says O'Donnell. "That inspired a lot of projects on its own." The antithesis of the show came in the form of "Remains," the gallery's latest exhibit, which is hanging now. "Remains was meant to be the opposite of what we feel about home. For most people, a home is something they want, something they are always searching for. 'Remains' is meant to represent what we leave behind."

Nests are springing up everywhere, just in time for Earth Day. They are hung gracefully on the walls of the Target Gallery, perched on the roof of the Potomac Riverboat ticket booth, and hidden skillfully in the trees of Old Town. The public response so far speaks to human nature's need for safety, comfort and tranquility. "It's like being back in the womb," says O'Donnell, who saw a mother place her baby in one of the nests this morning for a photo op. "It evokes positive emotions."

Keep scrolling for more photos!

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