Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Artscape Spotlight this Week: "Standing Ovation"

Artscape is a public outdoor art exhibition that spans the entire downtown Pittsfield area. The exhibition has been ongoing for a number of years, with exciting new additions in each new year. Artscape includes sculptures, banners, and street signs that energize and add whimsy and beauty to our city.

Notable this week: "Standing Ovation" by June Bisantz

Right across the street from the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, there isn't much to take notice of other than a private parking lot and a light post. At a glance, no one would really think anything of the two... after all, they're just part of the urban landscape, right? Wrong. The light post is actually a low-key piece of art on display that blends in perfectly with the urban streets of Pittsfield. Attached to the light post there is a box that reads, "PUSH BUTTON FOR APPLAUSE" along with a yellow and black graphic of clapping hands. If a member of the community chooses to correspond to this command, they will be welcomed with an overwhelming round of applause!

The City of Pittsfield has artist, June Bisantz, to thank for such a wonderful piece of art.

Below is Bisantz's artist statement:

Standing Ovation is a customized pedestrian traffic button that generates a thunderous round of applause when pushed. At first glance, the Standing Ovation applause button appears to be “normal” feature of the urban landscape, but it actually offers an interactive experience quite outside the norm. Inspired by my love of New England’s post-industrial towns with their splendid architecture and rich histories, Standing Ovation is designed to give Pittsfield a well-deserved round of applause for having the vision and foresight to welcome art to its streets, allowing creativity to play a central role in revitalizing its downtown. The Standing Ovation applause button seeks to stimulate awareness and laughter, while delivering a serious message about the power of creative action to boost morale, inspire curiosity and connect people to their environment and one another.

You can read more about June Bisantz at her blog:

While art enthusiasts and members of the Pittsfield community are out experiencing this wonderful instrument of positive feedback, they should also stop by the the Lichtenstein to view the new show, "CATA Art on Tour." Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 12 noon to 5pm.

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