To mark the launch of The Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute(DATMA), the non-collecting museum and its partners will kick off a city-wide, collaborative venture called Summer Winds from July 1 to September 30, 2019 in New Bedford, MA. Open and free to the public, DATMA has commissioned the centerpiece of Summer Winds, a large-scale, site specific architectural art installation called Silver Current created by celebrated Los Angeles, CA based artist Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics.
“DATMA is a unique approach to art exhibition, forgoing a traditional museum visit by engaging community partners to provide an unprecedented experience to showcase original and contemporary art innovation to its visitors,” said Lindsay Mis, Executive Director of DATMA. “Our inaugural season is inspired by New Bedford’s rich ongoing and historical connection to the ocean and seafaring.”
Silver Current will feature an 8,000-square foot kinetic skynet sculpture, in Shearn’s signature style, installed over Custom House Square Park in New Bedford throughout the Summer Winds season. DATMA has chosen the theme of wind to highlight a natural element of the Southcoast geography that has inspired and brought prosperity to many in the past and will do so again.
Made out of ultra-lightweight metalized film, Silver Current is the latest of the artist’s series “Skynets” that will move and shimmer with the wind, from 15 feet off the ground to 115 feet in the air. The customized piece is comprised of approximately 5,200 linear feet of rope, 200 handtied technical knots, and approximately 50,000 streamers of holographic silver film on a monofilament net, forming an iridescent wind wave form. Harnessing available wind, the artwork rises high into the sky and gently cascades down again, undulating in a display that is striking from a distance and intimately immersive up close.
“Today’s winds no longer push sails of whaling ships,” said Roger Mandle, Board Chair and Co-Founder of DATMA, “but they will now drive wind turbines set sail for a new course creating a wind energy industry that will invigorate the New Bedford area and produce masses of inexpensive, and environmentally pure, renewable energy for the region and beyond.”
Summer Winds will feature local and international artists and performers who will create exciting installations and performances that interact with the wind throughout downtown New Bedford, in public parks, and along the waterfront. Exhibitions will include artwork by 19th century Dutch painters at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Brooklyn-based graffiti muralists, and Guatemalan kite designers. Lectures will range from discussions highlighting sustainability practices in sailing and boat design, coastal architecture preservation, and wind energy. A classic day-long kite festival featuring demonstrations by New England flying groups such as Sky Dog, ConnectiKITERS, and Wind Wolves will also take place. Scheduled events are free and all season long. Summer Winds organizational partners include 3rd EyE Unlimited, AHA! (Art, History, Architecture), Buttonwood Park Zoo, Co-Creative Center, Community Boating Center, New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks!, New Bedford Ballet, New Bedford Economic Development Council, New Bedford Science Café, New Bedford Whaling Museum, Overhead Arts, Rotch-Jones-Duff (RJD) House and Garden Museum, SouthCoast Film Forum, Superflat, The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, Our Sisters’ School, UMass Dartmouth Center for Visual & Performing Arts, Tabor Academy, Newport Restoration Foundation, and Waterfront Historic Area LeaguE (W.H.A.L.E.).