Client: McColl Center for Art Innovation & Capitol
Location: Charlotte, NC, United States
Completion date: 2016
Artwork budget: $6,500
Betsy Birkner Studio
Blair Farris Design
Poole Shop | Capitol | Tabor
Poole Shop | Capitol | Tabor
Spring Deity | An Artistic Collaboration
“Spring Deity,” a life-sized ceramic female figure complemented by a living skirt, held court for two weeks in the beautiful 750-sq foot courtyard in the center of Laura Vinroot Poole’s Capitol, in Charlotte NC. Perry Poole‘s meticulous architectural design of the couture boutique was the perfect showcase for the sculpture. She was visible through three sides of windows from the two floors and set against a beautiful two-story vegetal wall designed by French botanist Patrick Blanc. The figure was adorned with a slip-dipped lace shawl and crystal encrusted crown.
McColl Center for Art Innovation is a nationally acclaimed contemporary art center dedicated to connecting art and artists with the community located in Charlotte, NC. Capitol owner, Laura Vinroot Poole is an arts supporter, integrating world-renown artists into her couture displays and store design. Capitol is a sponsor of the McColl Center for Art Innovation Studio Party, an arts fundraising gala. Pam Stowe, arts collector and advocate suggested the collaboration between Betsy Birkner, artist alumnae of the Center, and Blair Farris, landscape designer and fashion guru for the installation.
Birkner’s ceramic figure was floating in a floor-length skirt created by Farris to complement the surroundings, combining botany in a couture-influenced design to create a living skirt of hardier flowers such as orchids, set among succulents and mosses over shades of green tulle.
The figurative ceramic art and living skirt were the focus for cocktails over the two weeks to promote Studio Party 16. Couture design, fashion, architecture, art and outdoor living/playing all were used to promote the artist residency and innovation center in Charlotte.
The collaboration brain child of Pam Stowe started with discussion about what would be the best use of Betsy Birkner’s figure and dress. Stowe's support of and connection to McColl Center for Art Innovation and Capitol spawned the idea. Her network of designers included Blair Farris. The figure was placed upon a 34” pedestal. Farris fashioned a chicken wire skirt draped with tulle and potted flowers hidden among the ferns and mosses rested in a pocket of chicken wire to hold the heavy pots. The crown was added to the figure as the finishing touch.
The install happened in a day, with the assistance of Scott Newkirk, Visual Director of Poole Shop | Capitol | Tabor, Meredith Carter, Marketing | PR Director of Poole Shop | Capitol | Tabor, and Sara Plunkett, artist.
Spring Deity is looking for a final resting environment with a high skirt shaped berm planted with green plants and flowers. The beauty of the ceramic figure was enhanced by the contrast of the living plants.