'Weather Suspended' is weather abstracted at Museum Outdoor Arts

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The Museum Outdoor Arts in Englewood has a new exhibit and a new logo: MOA (the “of” is dropped). The logo was adopted in the hope that patrons will better understand the museum’s mission, which is much more than just outdoor sculptures.

“We also offer indoor galleries and studios, as well as arts education programs, film and external collaborations” said a recent press release.

Education projects include two 2013 versions of its long-running “Design and Build” program.

The first was with students from Regis University, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and CU Boulder, who built temporary sculptures utilizing the theme “abstract.” These are on display through Sept. 3 at the McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, hosted by Denver Arts and Venues.

The second, “Weather Suspended,” opened Aug. 3 at the MOA indoor gallery on the second floor of the Englewood Civic Center. It will run through Oct. 19, accompanied by two separate individual exhibits by Sally Stockholder (photographs in the back gallery) and Virginia Maitland (paintings, in the atrium).

Twelve interns from across the country spent eight weeks in the spacious MOA studios, developing interpretations focused on the themes of “abstracted” and “weather.”

Lead artist was the versatile Cory Gilstrap of Denver, who worked with interns to develop seven joint installations and 12 individual 2-foot by 8-foot panels that each interpreted a chosen weather-related word.

Joint projects include:

• Cloud Walk,” a large cluster of white Tryvek strips, suspended from the ceiling and reaching the floor, shimmering with every bit of breeze. The visitor is invited to hold one’s hands in a prayerful position and walk among them, surrounded by whiteness and light.

• “Water Line,” a massive square papier mache, painted block, is also suspended from the ceiling, with detrius beneath, created from papier mache and paint.

• As one enters the gallery, a breeze created by banks of matched, black electric fans, spins hundreds of clear plastic whirligigs of various sizes, fastened to walls on both sides. “Wind Shadow,” the installation is called and the effect is magical.

• “Weather Terms,” a list compiled by interns, is posted with an artists’ name next to each: Drought, Frost, Hail, Humid, Hurricane, Lightning, Monsoon, Overcast, Scorcher, Spring Rain, Sunshine, Thunderhead.

These were the titles for the individual panels, which fill a wall. The visitor is invited to guess the title, then lift a flap to check for correctness:

• In the White Gallery, one finds “Tornado,” made with whirling suspended foam forms and video projections on the walls.

• Projected on a wall in the main gallery is “Word Cloud” and next to a window, “Topiary” is a globe surrounded by a ring of growing, flourishing philodendron, which must be watered weekly.

• “Wind Shadow” is the final joint project designed by the 12 interns under Gilstrap’s guidance.

In the rear Sound Gallery a visitor finds a short film showing the interns at work as they “Designed and Built” the components of this really interesting exhibit — one that families, as well as artists, will enjoy.