Homage to Nevelson

I get a kick out of my kids sometimes and how they just move along. Recently, I put together a double screen video presentation for second grade after watching an interview of Nevelson with Barbaralee, coupled with a Photostory 3 presention of her work. Unfortunately, the technology which allowed it to go on the computer monitor, did not allow it to be seen on the Activision screen. So the kids standing by the double image of the computer, also saw giant Activa screen single image of work and went back and forth to watch the work, with a “wow.”

It was hard to motivate them towards creating a 3D piece, using what they had: a painted box, paper of the same color, limited time. But as usual, once one kid gets it, the light bulb goes off for a lot of the rest. The ones that the bulb does not go off for, sometimes leads to an interesting and new take, which I walk away with knowledge about. The boxes were laid out on a table and put together by another group of students, as those who had done this project had to leave.

In the ’78 clip, bygone days, it is fascinating to watch the even-then-American-icon, Nevelson talk about her work. I was quite surprised two years ago, to be at the Farnsworth, in Rockland and see examples of her work*. I think of the space in Maine, where she lived, and wonder, because the box work is really very New York. Hopper’s work, has more of a feel, even in his New York City mode for Maine light and space. We always associate her with the box art, forgetting for example the earlier 2D work and the later prints.


Students set up artwork on table top. Shot from a chair. Blocked background with Photoshop, correcting perspective with Gimp.


*I realize costs are a lot, but twelve dollars seems like a lot for this museum, no photography, and a limited collection in two separate housings. For the money, I like the Portland Museum of Art better, with a hipper collection. A real bargain is the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, which costs nothing.

By a simple keypunch, I was able to get the Activision file to be recorded by CamStudio, so I could post this on YouTube. It was interesting to see Nevelson on with Barbaralee Diamonstein (she now has a hyphenated name), still a force in the arts. While I re-cut the 29 minute interview to 8, it was fun to switch things around to have a different flow. Nevelson was so natural, watch how the cameraman caught her at a perfect angle with her hands. I put the second screen together after recording the sound with Total Recorder, using the soundtrack as a basis for the second screen. For the second screen,  I used Photostory 3, which is wonderful for all those pans and zooms, both in and out. Quite exhilarating when doing sculpture, especially some of the great indoor shots of the black sculptures.


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