The two artists were chosen to each receive a $1,000 award. The awards are funded by Connecticut Sea Grant and one is being matched by the Connecticut Department of Economic Development’s Office of the Arts.
Kathryn Frund of Cheshire and Felicia Cooper of Stafford Springs were both recommended for awards by an independent Review Panel as part of the competitive CTSG Arts Support Awards Program, now in its 11th year.
For her project, Frund will build a large contour map installation of Long Island Sound, using striped fabric culled from thrift stores. These will be laid out with curves and folds atop panels to convey the movement and dimensions of the marine waters in the estuary. By using discarded clothing to depict the shape of the Sound, Frund said, she hopes to raise awareness about excess consumption as well as the impacts of climate change. There may be opportunities as well for the public to donate cast-off clothing to help raise awareness of the impacts of our consumption and facilitating an extended conversation about sustainable consumer choices.
Cooper, for her part, will create a one-hour children’s puppet musical titled, “Ish,” based loosely on Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick. The characters will travel in a submarine through the ocean, eventually encountering a great whale and becoming challenged to use their imaginations and resourcefulness to meet environmental challenges.
“The Review Panel was really impressed by the proposals of both artists on the basis of their aesthetic strength and relevance to CTSG’s mission,” said Syma Ebbin, CTSG’s research coordinator who initiated and leads the arts support program. “Frund’s work has the capacity to resonate with its audience and further our understanding of the impacts of our consumerism. Cooper’s work engages a young audience in a puppetry performance that aims to increase their awareness of ocean pollution problems and get them thinking about innovating creative solutions to these problems.”
The winning submissions were selected based on aesthetic quality, relevance to coastal and marine environments and Connecticut Sea Grant themes, as well as potential impact on non-traditional audiences. Artists who live in Connecticut or whose work is related to Connecticut’s coastal and marine environments or Long Island Sound are eligible.