Jarrod Beck Named 2014 Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award Recipient
NYC Parks' Art in the Parks program has announced Jarrod Beck as the 2014 recipient of the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award. Uplift, a site specific installation made of recycled materials will be on view in Sarah D. Roosevelt Park from August 20, 2014 through August 2015. The $10,000 award is granted annually in memory of Clare Weiss, Parks' Curator of Public Art from 2005 to 2009.
Beck's work is rooted in the continually changing borderlines between bodily space, architectural space, and the environment. Through his work Beck seeks to engage the loss that comes naturally to an environment in flux, whether it is in the form of architectural collapse, geological erosion, or human passing. Many pieces are designed to be affected by a combination of natural forces, like light, wind, rain, and snow, as well as human contact. Recycled materials like scorched wood, paper fading in the sun, fragile plaster, and rusting steel allow the work to constantly evolve and highlight a rather beautiful process.
Uplift represents two stratified tectonic plates that are situated along the path between the trees of Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The ridged forms cut through the space to define a new path from Houston Street to the basketball courts. Uplift is made from recycled materials, specifically recycled rubber from mining conveyor belts from upstate West Virginia. This material will respond to the environment and change daily, becoming a deep and shiny black when slick with water or developing a silvery patina with continued exposure to the sun. Uplift is a monument to geological forces during the day and a shining beacon at night. In the evening hours, the layered surface of the sculpture reveals small gaps of glimmering light from internal LED system.
This piece will be a continuation of Beck's body of sculptural work that has been exhibited at Socrates Sculpture Park, Wave Hill Garden and Cultural Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, South Street Seaport Museum, Stony Brook University, Lawndale Art Center, Instituto Cervantes NY, Cape Cod National Seashore and Provincetown Art Association and Museum.
This year's exhibition was made possible through generous support by the friends of Clare Weiss. This exhibition was also made possible by RubberForm Recycled Products and Austin R. Smith. Beck's work was selected from over 80 entries by a jury comprised of curator and art critic Karen Wilkin, sculptor Willard Boepple, and Parks' Public Art Coordinator Jennifer Lantzas. To help sustain the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Fund, please contact the Office of Public Art at (212) 360-8163 for information on contributing.
Clare Weiss (1966-2010) was the former Public Art Curator for Parks. During her tenure she curated more than 100 outdoor public art installations throughout the city and organized complex, thought-provoking, and visually compelling thematic exhibitions for the Arsenal Gallery. Clare's passion, humanity, energy, courage, and collaborative zeal were valued by all who knew her. The Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award is granted annually to one emerging artist. The location changes annually, and is determined based on the site's visibility and location within a neighborhood historically underserved by public art. Started in 2011, former recipients include Ruth McKerrell at Ft. Greene Park, Brooklyn (2011), Katherine Daniels at Joyce Kilmer Park, the Bronx (2012), and Karlis Rekevics at Tappen Park, Staten Island (2013).
NYC Parks & Recreation's Art in the Parks program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, collaborations with arts organizations and artists have produced hundreds of public art projects in New York City parks. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/parks/art.