Throughout June, help Art Week Artist in Resident Amber Dohrenwend build an art installation out of locally recycled cardboard strips. All ages welcome!
“We Make Our City/Our City Makes Us” is an interactive cardboard installation that will be built throughout the month of June by City of Marquette Art Week 2023 Artist in Residence – Amber Dohrenwend. The completed installation will then be on display in July in the City’s Deo Gallery (Marquette Arts & Culture Center on the Lower Level of Peter White Public Library). The sculpture will be built with cardboard strips, cut from bicycle boxes sourced in our community, and staplers will be used to hold the strips together.
The installation process welcomes community contributions during open studio hours. All hours will be open to drop in participants. Participation is open to all ages. Under 12 must attend with an adult.
More information about the installation and Art Week can be found on www.MQTcompass.com
OPEN STUDIO HOURS:
*Open Studio Times have ended. Please visit and explore the completed installation at the Deo Gallery through July 27th (City Arts & Culture Center, Lower Level of Peter White Public Library)
For more chances to build with Amber, please visit her website:
2023 C.A.M.P.The Cardboard CollectiveThe Warehouse
Please contact the City Office of Arts and Culture during office hours, M-F 10-5pm with any questions (906)228-0472
City of Marquette Art Week 2023 Artist in Residence, Amber Dohrenwend shares insights into the project and her experiences as an artist working internationally and the wonders of the simple material she has adopted.
I was born here in Marquette and lived here until I was two. I grew up in a few other places in Michigan, but mostly on a sheep farm outside of Alpena. Because we had animals, we didn’t travel much, and by the time I went to university I felt very determined to see the world. My first commercial flight was enroute to Kathmandu for a study abroad trip to Nepal. After that I was hooked. I became an international elementary school teacher.
When we were living in Japan, my husband and I started our family. It was during that time that I got the chance to start developing the creative side of me that never quite felt fulfilled by teaching. Cardboard was an easy material to work with. I could collect it freely in my neighborhood on recycling day, and I started making furniture, and then Halloween costumes for my kids. I started teaching cardboard classes locally and met a family that had a design firm in Tokyo. They asked me to host a workshop and then ended up asking me if I would build them a sculpture for a window display. That’s how my career started.
I make artwork to ignite a feeling of playfulness and creative agency in others. I use the material of cardboard because it is uniquely good at helping people see their environment and the underappreciated materials around them in a new and disarming way.
We all interact with cardboard on a daily basis, yet rarely acknowledge it as a legitimate, (let alone sustainable) creative material. Seeing cardboard transformed in surprising ways loosens up people’s states of being, and challenges them to look again.
They start thinking…….
if cardboard can be so unexpectedly transformed, then what else?
A few summers ago I made a large sculpture that was on display outdoors in Lucca, Italy. During the reception, a woman approached me and asked if there was a way to go inside the sculpture. I remember apologizing and saying, “I’m so sorry, it’s not possible,” and then immediately felt a sense of knowing that I had discovered a “missing piece” around what I was trying to communicate to my audience through art… that the process and the interaction was part of it. To be able to work here in Marquette; It feels like something that I’ve been moving towards for a long time; that working within a community was another “missing piece” I’ve been trying to integrate. I’m so grateful to be grounded here as an artist, to work alongside and in relationship to the people in my home community… that feels like oxygen to me.
We Make Our City, Our City Makes Us – Art Week Installation
“We Make Our City/Our City Makes Us,” is an interactive cardboard installation that will be built throughout the month of June and then will be on display in July. The sculpture will be built with cardboard strips, cut from bicycle boxes sourced in our community, and staplers will be used to hold the strips together.
The idea behind this artwork is that transforming a place into a “Home” is a creative act. It’s also about the process we go through when we make something and how that shapes us. The beauty is that we don’t need much for transformation to occur.
In this case, bike boxes, scissors, staples – and our ability to re-see; cardboard, our environment, our situation, our creativity, our city. We can do great things. It’s my belief that grounding this ‘Re-seeing’ in something tangible and concrete, like making with our hands, and alongside members in our community is more helpful to our brains than listening to a talk or watching a lecture urging us to be more creative.
This is a sculpture that will be built collaboratively with participants, which means you can come to the gallery space when I’m working on site as the Art Week artist in residence and help to build this sculpture. Be sure to check the dates for when it’s happening in June. The Deo Gallery is located in the basement of the Peter White Public library, and there’s plenty of free parking. I hope you come and join me in bringing this artwork to life and have a go with cardboard and staplers! The art-making technique is really easy and it’s a chance for us all to literally make something larger than ourselves together.