Teale Hatheway is a mixed media painter working on the subjects of architecture, memory and visual awareness of place. For the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Teale was commissioned to paint 53 of Coachella’s canvas tipis. This project transformed the exclusive campground of Lake Eldorado, situated in a large grass field surrounding an idyllic lake. Focusing on the cone shape of the tipi while using a complex yet limited color palette, Teale explored a range of patterns made dynamic by their application to this culturally significant architectural form.
As an artist working on the subjects of architecture and place making, the opportunity to develop this project was very appealing. It was of critical importance to me to approach the structures as geometric forms and to work within a formal response to the shape, rather than replicating the history of a traditional culture. The development of InTentCity turned the already beautiful space into a fanciful, immersive environment and functioned as a tool for identification of place in a sea of white tents. The color palette was selected to complement the natural surroundings of grass and sky.
InTentCity was a very large undertaking that combined design, murals, place making and a specific management strategy for successful completion in a short time frame. Laid flat, each tipi is a semi-circle, 30 feet in diameter. Each of the 53 tipis were hung flat on a wall and hand painted. The design phase was critical. I developed 7 unique design themes (from local fauna to optical art to simple ombre stripes to complex mandalas) which we painted in a sophisticated yet playful color palette of 11 colors and black. It became clear quite early that the client trusted my instincts and I had a lot of room to make creative decisions. All of the work was executed in studio, with the help of my assistants.
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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