Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Box of Courage

I have a new piece on display in Stowe, VT through October as part of Helen Day Art Center's Exposed exhibit. There are twenty-four sculptors and four writers participating this year with art displayed through the downtown and along the bike path.

My piece, Box of Courage, is designed to be interactive. I want people to climb in and become part of the art. I feel that the piece isn't complete unless someone is inside. The great thing about a work of art like this is that it is always changing with infinite possibilities/combinations. With every new person, or group of people, and every new position that they take -- and even as time passes with people frozen in place -- the piece changes. In addition, because of the irregular shape and irregular polygon painting on it, the work also changes depending on the position of the viewer.
Box of Courage
plywood, exterior latex paint
84" x 84" x 47"
June 2013
I painted it with primary colors because I want it to look like a playground object but I also added black because I felt it would add a little maturity and take the edge off the pure playfulness.
Box of Courage (second view)
I titled it, Box of Courage, because I feel the piece deals with the emotion of courage on several levels. First, for most adults, it take courage to interact with a box such as this and enter inside; children, of course, don't have this issue, they react fearlessly and know how to play with it. But adults are much more inhibited and will tend to refrain from letting their inner-child out. Second, anytime we face and overcome a fear, we become more courageous so the act entering in the box adds to a participants overall courage. And finally, once inside the box, it provides a protective shell which, in itself, gives someone the freedom to be more courageous.
Box of Courage (as a finished piece)
I look forward to seeing how people react to it throughout the summer. Conveniently, it is situated next to a bench so I can casually over hear their interactions. Helen Day Art Center is also encouraging people to take pictures with the art and posting them on a Flicker account, so hopefully, I can see documentation there as well.


  1. Rob,

    I like the title. You made me realize that it takes courage to be a designer - to explore new ideas that may seem ridiculous to others, or even yourself.


  2. Thanks Chris. I hadn't thought of that angle. Yes, it is all courage all the way around.