In a project that gradually unfolded from January - May 2012, I collaged the interior walls of Seattle's University Heights Center in order to take art out of the gallery, off the canvas, and into a public space.
The collage responded to everything in its path with sprays, swirls, lines and bursts of handpainted squares and rectangles of paper, each individually applied to the walls.
The idea was to highlight the intrinsic elements of the historic building, from wood paneling and old photographs to vending machines and fire extinguishers.
I involved my private art students in the early stages of the work and blogged my progress, including responses from passersby of all ages.
While we may recognize a space as historic, spacious and pleasant, we tend to ignore or accept as givens the mundane and more modern details such as vending machines, water fountains, trash cans, signs and fire extinguishers.
Heighten celebrates the historic aura of Seattle's University Heights building in its entirety including every ordinary detail, inviting viewers to notice and appreciate their surroundings in a new way.
The cut paper shapes unify disparate elements by calling attention to them and tying them together as organic parts of a whole aesthetic environment. The idea is to treat the building itself as art rather than simply hanging art in it, and to engage viewers with visual surprises at every turn.