February 27, 2016 -- During the week of , Endicott College will welcome back to campus the world renowned public artist Ed Woodham, bringing his brand of creative, participatory civic engagement for a week-long residency of workshops, class visits, public talks and performance art. Mr. Woodham will also oversee a two week long public arts event of visual installations and performances on campus under the theme “Believe.”
The public is invited to submit proposals for a site specific installations or performances on campus for this event. Projects selected will be part of “AiOP: BELIEVE @ Endicott College,” a juried exhibition and documentary project. Successful applicants will also be invited to participate in a free workshop with AiOP founder and director Ed Woodham on the practice of public art, civic engagement and creative social activism. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, March 20 and the artwork will be on display from the opening on until .
An artist, curator, producer, and social entrepreneur, Mr. Woodham is founder and director of Art in Odd Places (AiOP), which every October for the past 12 years has turned Manhattan’s 14th street from river to river into an open air art and performance gallery. In recent years, Mr. Woodham has taken AiOP around the world, from St. Petersburg, Russia to Sydney, Australia and several American cities, including Beverly, where in 2012 he staged the first AiOP festival outside of New York at Endicott College under the auspices of a Community of Learners grant. He was invited to participate in the American pavilion at the 2012 Venice biennale and was recently one of two world artists -along with the French-Tunisian calligraffiti artist el Seed - invited to participate in the cultural planning for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.
The mission of Art in Odd Places is to reinvigorate public space as a site of creative civic engagement, playful expression, and open dialogue on issues of the common good and the public sphere. AiOP aims to stretch the boundaries of artistic interaction and communication by presenting visual and performance works in all disciplines in a context outside the confines of traditional art spaces. Through unexpected encounters, curious moments of beauty, ironic juxtapositions, and gentle humor, AiOP encourages us to explore the odd, ordinary, and ingenious in the spectacle of daily life and to engage more mindfully and appreciatively with our physical and human environment.
Mr. Woodham’s residency at Endicott College is made possible in part through a grant from the Plansoen charitable trust and is being coordinated by Professors Michael Kilburn and Cynthia Roberts, who see it as a way to engage students and community members across disciplines in thoughtful and creative interactions with the local environment. For Professor Roberts, Associate Professor of Visual Art and Design, the show is an opportunity to showcase the talent and imagination of the Endicott community as well as the natural beauty of the campus.
“This project offers the Endicott and the surrounding community an opportunity to cultivate creativity and social awareness, integral aspects of critical thinking at a liberal arts college. The works chosen will also offer artists and viewers a chance to reflect on and more fully appreciate our surroundings, both natural and built.”
As a political scientist, Professor Kilburn focuses on the civic aspects. “To me, AiOP is politics in its purest form. In fact, the word politics comes from the Greek politeia, meaning public space or public affairs, and such creative civic expression and constructive dialogue is key to a healthy democracy. Art in Odd Places reminds us that public space should function as a forum for diverse social interactions and the democratic exchange of ideas. Especially in this election year, the theme of this event, “Believe” posits hope, faith, idealism, justice, and constructive social engagement as an antidote to the cynicism, demagoguery, and partisan divide that have lately poisoned political discourse and the national mood. I hope this festival provides a chance to celebrate free expression, and rehabilitate the positive aspects of civic life.”
Information and application forms are available at www.endicott.edu/AiOP .