oranje - recent posts from my current home

Monday, June 19, 2006

TRAF - June 17 & 18

And so, we say goodbye to the Three Rivers Arts Festival for 2006. It's been a long sixteen days. A lot of paper got folded. A lot of things worked well and some things, well, could have been a little better. (It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.) Above left is the lizard that I had folded, transformed by the children at the festival. Above right is the last large-scale piece that I folded for the festival. This elephant stands about 36" in height and was folded from 9' square paper.

On the last day of the festival, we put up a sign inviting folks to take home flowers from the garden as well as miscellaneous other models that had been installed thoughout the park. The flowers disappeared in a matter of one hour. Some of the other models were taken by people on their way to the concert.

It was interesting to watch the interactions of people with the origami. Generally, you could find a small group having lunch under the tree with the horse. The flower field seemed to draw a lot of attention, with folks bending down to take a closer look, taking picures and sitting in the middle of the flowers. The small flock of waterfowl kept changing position; people would turn them in different directions.

The squirrels as well as some of the other smaller models didn't stick around very long. Actually, a number of flowers went missing every night. I hope they found good homes. The installation of cranes in the walkway probably drew the most attention. Folks would lean on the railings and watch for a few minutes on their way through to the point. An occasional bird would go missing, but the installation stayed intact for the most part.

All in all, it was a really tremendous experience. I met all sorts of interesting people from all sorts of places. At some point, I'll put this together as a portfolio on my website, so stay tuned.


Tracy said...

Hi Susan, I am glad that this project was so successful for you! Do you think that you will do this event again?

Susan Constanse said...

TRAF? If I'm invited, yes I will. But the festival coordinators try to get variety each year in the family activity area so I doubt I'll be folding paper there next summer. I would do a project like this again, though. But with better planning.

This was the first time I've done a project like this and I don't think I was prepared for a lot of contingencies, nor did I know exactly what to ask for in terms of materials. The coordinator wanted to see more extreme scale origami and I was not prepared for that. The large stuff needs to have supports and props.

Also, the tent was a shared work space. Even with three tables pushed together, there wasn't enough room to fold and measure the paper properly. There were four of us working in the tent and very few days were scheduled when there weren't a lot of people around. So on top of folding large-scale models, we had to provide hands-on experiences for the children. I was scheduled one day for three hours manning the tent alone. During that three hours, I had to continually teach children, as well as police the materials and equipment table. So many people were coming in and just helping themselves to materials, equipment and books. Needless to say, I didn't get a single large-scale model folded and forget about the super-large folding.

Lots of things to consider for future projects. It turned out really well in the end, but I can't resist a little Monday moring quarterbacking.

Tracy said...

Susan, I didn't realize that this was the first time that you've done this project. I think it sounds as if it was a pretty popular destination, given the fact that everything disappeared at the end:-)

I used to do public projects and the first one was a complete disaster, but as I am the master of Monday morning quarterbacking, they began to operate much more smoothly.

Susan Constanse said...

Yes, it was the first time I'd done a project like this at a festival. I've folded large-scale origami before, but not in the public eye and not for display in outdoor settings.

Since I left the corporate world, I've tried a lot of different things and have worked as lead artist, assistant artist and coordinator for a number of projects in schools and community settings.

It's been a very full eight years.