Forecastle Fest Announces Artists to Create New Works

by ekramer on February 18, 2010

The ninth Forecastle Festival, which is still more than four months away, has lined up artists to create works that reflect the event’s theme of music, art and activism. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.

The annual event has included a host of exhibiting artists in past years. But this July, the Louisville festival is commissioning three artists to create pieces specific to the event and its theme. Artist Mike Ratterman, who has organized the artists’ participation in the festival since its inception, says he wanted to do something new.

“I think the art was at a point where it really needed to have outside influences and professional curators involved in the process to help that portion of the festival develop as much as the music has,” Ratterman says.

The artists include Joyce Ogden, whose work often includes references to nature using materials such as sand and water, and Leticia Bajuyo, who often uses recycled materials in her pieces. Also creating a piece for the festival is Todd Smith, who uses multimedia resources to document his tree-climbing experiences.

Bajuyo says she creates by using recycled materials and community involvement.

“I have two pieces in mind,” she says,  “whether it was collecting trash during the entire event, so then I would need help by every participant at the entire Forecastle weekend. And then the other one would be a collection that would happen for the two months before the event and would be a piece that would be built and experienced during Forecastle.”

Smith, with his penchant for climbing trees, says he already has some ideas about what he might do for the festival. (To see Smith at work, click on the video link below and watch him climbing up one tree and down another one nearby.)

“I’ve had an idea for a very long time of collecting audio stories of people’s tree-climbing childhood memories,” she says. “So, I kind of wanted to see what I come up with and integrate it into some sort of sound-light installation piece.”

Nederlander Entertainment, a festival partner, contributed $12,000 for the commissions and the creation of the pieces.

The team of curators includes Ratterman; Bruce Linn, a painter and assistant director of galleries at the University of Louisville’s  Hite Art Institute; Joey Yates, an independent curator and musician; and sculptor Matt Weir.

This year’s festival runs July 9th through 12th.

Photos: Sculpture by Joyce Ogden (top); Leticia Bajuyo at work on a sculpture made from used CDs (middle); and image created by Todd Smith based on his tree-climbing experience (bottom).

Video Link: Smith at work in the trees.

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