Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fred Tschidas Kinetic Neon Sculpture

Ascending the stairs of the Arts Center, a soft whirring draws visitors toward a new installation. Outside the room, a glow of bright neon beckons. Strange and spectacular, Fred Tschida’s motorized kinetic neon sculptures are otherworldly guests at the Art Center/Old Forge.

A Professor of Glass and Chair of Sculpture/Dimensional Studies at Alfred University and curator for the Museum of Luminous Phenomena, Tschida crates luminous instillations and conceptual light work in neon and glass. In Tschida’s solo exhibit of kinetic neon sculptures he plays with perception. Through the viewer’s sense of time and optical phenomenon, rotations of bright neon build revealing the three dimensional form. As each neon line revolves, it creates a form over time.

“I make planes of light in space, ribbons of light, walls of light...I like the idea of moving pieces and creating volumes that exist in space without any commitment of materials.” says Tschida. The lines of bent neon are inspired by the vessels of glass artist Frederick Carder, Japanese lanterns and the spacecraft Sputnik. Tschida’s bases, inspired by lunar landing modules, are built to accommodate any type of terrain. Large wood and plastic tripods set in a mass of coiling cords stretch to steady the spinning tops. Smooth orbits of neon paint the walls with multicolored light, and reflect off the windows, transforming the room into an entrancing oasis of luminescence.

Fred Tschida’s exhibition is an oddly surreal yet meditative experience, and a must see. The Arts Center/Old Forge is also currently displaying a popular summer favorite, the 59th Annual Central Adirondack Art Show, which was Jurored by Tschida. Also on display are the gourd masks of Abenaki Indian Artist AndreĆ© Dennis Newton and “Decked Out Trout & Bass with Class” a silent auction of transformed wooden fish decoys. Admission to the Arts Center/Old Forge is $8/$4 members and groups of 6+, children under 12 are free. For more information visit www.ArtsCenterOldForge.org or call the Arts Center/Old Forge at 315.369.6411.

Article by Elle Conyers
Design/Media Summer Intern

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