In spring 2015, the High Museum of Art will unveil the second large-scale, interactive design installation by contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena on the Woodruff Arts Center’s Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza.
The site-specific work, titled “Los Trompos” (“The Spinning Tops”), continues a multi-year initiative to activate the outdoor space and engage visitors in a meaningful art experience upon entering the campus of the Woodruff Arts Center (of which the Museum is a partner). The installation builds on the success of 2014’s “Mi Casa, Your Casa” commission, for which Esrawe and Cadena dotted the piazza with three-dimensional open frames shaped like houses that invited visitor interaction. Originally planned as a two-year project, the Piazza activation program is extended for three more years with funding from a recent grant to the Woodruff Arts Center from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.
On view April 24 through Nov. 29, 2015, “Los Trompos” (“The Spinning Tops”) will create a destination outside the Museum where patrons can enjoy recreation, social interaction, performances, art-making activities and special events co-organized with local partner institutions.
As a blank canvas for community engagement and programming, “Los Trompos” draws its inspiration from the form of a spinning top, a toy popular with children around the world. The project will feature more than 40 three-dimensional, larger-than-life tops in a variety of colors and shapes installed throughout the piazza. The colorful surfaces of each “top” will be created in part by fabric woven in a traditional Mexican style. By working together, visitors will be able to spin the tops on their bases as they interact with the structures. “Only through this interaction and collaboration will the work come to life and be complete,” said Cadena.
“We have been delighted by the response to this initiative, and we are very grateful to the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation for their support to continue this important work,” said Michael E. Shapiro, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. director of the High. “Artistic engagement and enjoyment should begin as soon as visitors set foot on the Woodruff Arts Center campus, not just when entering its buildings. Having the opportunity to work with our Woodruff Arts Center partners and organizations throughout Atlanta to create these experiences for our community has been invigorating.”
As part of its Friday Night Lates series, the High will present evening programs on the first and third Friday of the month featuring artistic pairings and collaborations, live music, and other performances, which will take place both inside the Museum and on the Piazza during the run of “Los Trompos.” These programs will be collaborations with artists and performers across the Atlanta arts spectrum, from colleagues at the other Woodruff Arts Center partners (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Arts for Learning) to Atlanta arts groups including Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi, The Atlanta Opera, local musician and sound designer Ben Coleman, Dad’s Garage, The Institute of Mexican Culture, The Object Group, Theater Argo and T. Lang Dance. For more information and an evolving schedule of programs and performances for “Los Trompos,” visit www.high.org.
In addition to installing the tops on the Sifly Piazza, the High has partnered with Midtown Alliance to bring this interactive design installation from the Woodruff Arts Center campus to the streets of Midtown. Seven locations for the tops are currently planned throughout the district. To date, Midtown Alliance as well as its members including Bank of America Plaza, Cousins Properties, Franklin Street Properties, The Office of the Arts at Georgia Institute of Technology and Selig Enterprises, Inc. have agreed to contribute space and sponsor the extension of the project. A full list of locations will be available at www.high.org.