Artist Matthew Mazzotta, the Coleman Center for the Arts, and the community of York Alabama collaborated to transform a blighted property into a new public art project this is in the shape of a house. The magic in this project is that the “home” can physically transform into a 100 seat open air theater, free for the public.
The project utilizes the land and materials from the abandoned home on the same site. The new house has a “secret” … it physically transforms from the shape of a house into an open air theater that seats 100 people by having its falls and roof fold open.
How it works? Open House is designed to require cooperation. It takes four people one and a half hours to unfold the structure. The foundation is made of used railroad ties which anchor the custom fabricated industrial hinges to five rows of stadium seating. The rows of seats fold down with the aid of a hand winch and enough manpower to counter balance the hefty, but agile structure.
Through the project, the artist hopes to directly address the lack of public space in York, AL by providing a physical location that becomes a common ground for community dialogue and activities. The new structure carries the weight of the past through the materials that were salvaged and repurposed from the old structure, most visibly the original pink siding. When Open House is fully unfolded, it provides an opportunity for people to come together and experience the community from a new perspective. When it folds back up, it resembles the original abandoned house, reminding people of the history of what was there before.
Open House was awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Visual Artists Network, York Drug, the City of York, the City of York Fire Department and countless individual supporters of the Coleman Center for the Arts and Matthew Mazzotta.
Want to know more about the project? CLICK HERE
CLICK HERE to read about Matthew Mazzotta’s Park Spark Project
More about Matthew Mazzotta HERE
Rebecca Ansert, founder of Green Public Art, is an art consultant who specializes in artist solicitation, artist selection, and public art project management for both private and public agencies. She is a graduate of the master’s degree program in Public Art Studies at the University of Southern California and has a unique interest in how art can demonstrate green processes or utilize green design theories and techniques in LEED certified buildings.
Green Public Art is a Los Angeles-based consultancy that was founded in 2009 in an effort to advance the conversation of public art’s role in green building. The consultancy specializes in public art project development and management, artist solicitation and selection, creative community involvement and knowledge of LEED building requirements. Green Public Art also works with emerging and mid-career studio artists to demystify the public art process. The consultancy acts as a resource for artists to receive one-on-one consultation before, during, and after applying for a public art project.
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