So, hooray, Tuesday I finished the Rapunzel model. 

One of the great benefits is that I finished EARLY.  I have learned that with children, you MUST bump up your deadlines because you never know what might come up.  This buffer is necessary for your sanity, your career, and your family.

Note, this process did not work for me last week when the two Chicago organizers didn't send me my exhibition paperwork until 2 days before the deadlines.  So, I am very appreciative of organizers that are considerate in their time lines!

Rapunzel's model will be reviewed by the museum curator on Friday - which means I actually have time to make any changes or tweak any ideas I might have.  So, there you have even another reason to FINISH YOUR WORK EARLY!  Yes, I was the geeky student that finished my term-papers early and then took the advantage of extra time to really finesse them - students hated me, and MOST professors loved me.  NOTE:  I have had major problems with some professors, usually because I felt they had a personality conflict with me - which is very uncomfortable when they hold your 4.0 GPA in their hands.  True abuse of power.

Anyway -

Rapunzel's Tower will be installed at Cheekwood Gardens & Art Museum for their 2008 Happily Ever After Summer Installations from May - September 2008.  These are specifically installed outside, tucked in the acres of beautiful gardens and are intended for children and their interactive imaginations.  www.cheekwood.org

The main feature of my design is that children will be able to rappel up the wall using Rapunzel's braid (made of nylon roping).  The rock-climbing wall will have two levels of difficulty - flat and one that is inclined for the younger kids.  Near Rapunzel's window will be a bell that they can ring when they reach the top. 

This installation is based on tower designs I saw during our June 2007 trip to Italy - it is literally a pastiche of styles and I have attempted to visualize the vibrant colors of the mosaics and varying marbles used in Italy.

Even though I had thought about this design for more than a year - when it came down to making the model I went through 3 different versions!  I thought I was so set, but the practicality, materials, and aesthetics are something you have to see and feel.  On the back view, left, is the actually cone hat for the full-sized Rapunzel - it will glitter in the sun - it is made of mylar, wire, and cut plexi.

I am lucky to have enlisted the help of two former studio-mates for some of the detail work - they will be painting the panels for the King/Queen/Enchantress which will be located on the three other sides of the window level.  This idea reiterates the Italian architecture - especially as seen in Rome, where the vibrant mosaic portraits were placed just under the roof lines.

Selena Long will be painting the 36" x 36" (Gothic window-shaped) panels for the King and Queen (Rapunzel's birth parents) and Denise Johnson will be painting the same size panel for the Enchantress.

I am excited to be able to hire these artists and actually pay them for some art work!  I could do these panels myself and keep more profit from the contracted amount - but it is important to me to assist other emerging artists (financially and public exposure) whenever I can.

This view shows Selena Long's "sketch" for the King panel and also shows the silly mirror that will be attached on the lower right hand side, as well as some of the stepping stones that will be installed in the grass over a wide area around the tower.  Children will be able to have a scavenger hunt for the letters spelling out Rapunzel's name and other symbols from the story.  Cheekwood is fabulous at providing activity books for the kids based on the designs which prompts their curiosity and learning.  The opposite side will have a similar silly mirror and the back lower panel will have texture plates for the exploration of the youngest children (fake grass, sponges, leather, etc.)

Hope you enjoy the creative process shown and if I make any further changes BEFORE Friday, I will keep you posted!

For Art's Sake,

sher fick

(Below - Sketches for the Enchantress (by Denise Johnson) and the Queen by Selena Long - the queen is shown with the rampion/lettuce which she coveted - it is the reason she lost her daughter to the Enchantress).