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Urban Video Project to launch two new venues on Connective Corridor Dec. 4

December 01, 2008

Erica Blust
(315) 443-5891

Erica Blust

The Urban Video Project (UVP), a public arts initiative bringing art to the streets and buildings of Syracuse's Connective Corridor, will launch large-scale outdoor visual art projections at two new downtown locations on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 5:30 p.m. Artwork will be projected on the Monroe Building at 333 E. Onondaga St. and the Onondaga Historical Association Museum (OHA) at 321 Montgomery St. A kickoff event is planned at One Park Place, 300 S. State St. The launch, which offers the first permanent, community-based public art experience of its kind in the United States, is part of an evening of holiday festivities at various downtown venues.

UVP marks the first major installation of the Connective Corridor. An initiative of Syracuse University with technology provided by Time Warner Cable, UVP will project artwork daily from dusk to 11 p.m. throughout the year. UVP organizers launched the first venue in October at Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St., where artwork is displayed on four LED transparent mesh curtains that hang in Stage's atrium windows.

The Dec. 4 projections will feature a collection of video, animation and animated stills by students and faculty in SU's College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and Educated Guess Work, an interactive design firm from Philadelphia that is providing project management and support to UVP. Historical stills and film footage provided by the OHA and a dance video produced by The Media Unit will also be included. Holiday-related silent films will be added as the season progresses.

UVP organizers will use high-definition, 16:9-aspect-ratio projection systems at both locations. The Monroe Building projector uses 30,000 lumens-the most powerful projection available-and projects a 45-foot-tall by 80-foot-wide, 3,600-square-foot display. The OHA building's projector uses 20,000 lumens and projects a 32-foot-tall by 18-foot-wide, 576- square-foot display. Both projectors are housed in secure, custom-built enclosures that are weatherproof and climate controlled. All three UVP locations use Time Warner Cable's Internet service for connectivity.

Artwork will be programmed to rotate in a playlist format. UVP may interrupt normal programming to show work that interacts with current weather conditions.

First established in 2007 by the student artist team Avalanche Collective in VPA's Department of Transmedia, UVP has developed into one of the first permanent series of urban projection installations in the United States. Plans for a fourth venue at the John H. Mulroy Civic Center Theatres at Oncenter are currently being developed. The Syracuse Public Art Commission will review and approve all UVP work to be shown.

"UVP is turning a brilliant spotlight on Syracuse and the inspiring things we can accomplish when everyone brings their best thinking, creativity and energy to the table," says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. "This is not only about engaging and thought-provoking public art. It's about community and, in particular, what defines the Syracuse community: innovation and collaboration."

More than $30 million in federal and state funding was secured for the Connective Corridor project by U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Rep. James Walsh and New York State Assemblyman William Magnarelli.

"The Urban Video Project is an exciting initiative that transforms a normal building wall into a showcase for locally produced art," Magnarelli says. "It's an example of how the Connective Corridor can link the community with events and projects at the colleges and universities."

"Partnering with Syracuse University for this project is a prime example of how working together we can use public space to share art and communication between different cultures and segments of our community," says Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. "Using the Connective Corridor as a canvas will bring a whole new look to our nighttime urban landscape, placing Syracuse and Onondaga County on the cutting edge of civic experiences."

"The Urban Video Project is a creative use of technology to turn darkened spaces into refreshing scenes of light, beauty and art," says Syracuse Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll. "We've been happy to work with Chancellor Cantor to develop another outlet for faculty and students at SU to showcase their talents in a way that brightens and enhances our city."

"The Urban Video Project is an essential element in making our city a more vibrant place," says Dominic Robinson, chair of 40 Below. "Not only will it enliven downtown, it will help put Syracuse on the map as a place where public art is valued and encouraged."

Community participation a focus of UVP organizers

SU's ultimate goal for UVP is to provide visual arts venues for members of the Syracuse community, including college students and faculty, students of art educators and local artists. Work exhibited at UVP locations will form a permanent community collection. Area museums and galleries are also invited to consider UVP as an additional opportunity to exhibit work to the public.

To encourage community participation and submissions, UVP organizers plan to hold workshops for artists and art educators on the various technical requirements and production tools needed to develop submissions. More information can be found at http://connectivecorridor.syr.edu.

"In addition to building a real-world classroom for students creating visual art and information design, these venues make possible new forms of public relationships," says Denise Heckman, UVP academic director and associate professor of industrial and interaction design at VPA. "Residents can expect to be greeted by beautiful and thought- provoking visual experiences as they visit the city at night. By offering workshops and soliciting work from the community, we strive to make UVP open to all citizens and allow the social space of the city to become a place to share ideas, creativity and history."

Local arts organizations, community groups, artists and secondary schools wishing to use the venues should contact Dani Mosko-Wozniak, UVP curatorial director, at dmoskowo@syr.edu. Faculty from local colleges and universities who would like to use the venues for academic purposes should contact Heckman at daheckma@syr.edu.

UVP partners make installations possible

SU worked with a number of property owners and businesses as well as the Syracuse Public Art Commission to coordinate the installations of the UVP equipment at the various locations.

Partners at the Monroe Building installation include Jeffrey DeRoberts G'92, owner and president of the Monroe Building; Robert Moses, property manager for Anderson-Barney Real Estate Management Group at One Park Place; Eleanor Theodore '49 G'52, property owner of 318 E. Fayette St.; and Kirk White, co-owner of Shenanigans Bar & Grill, 318 E. Fayette St.

For the OHA installation, partners include the OHA and Gregg Tripoli, executive director; The Media Unit and Walt Shepperd, executive director; and the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency and Dave Michel, executive director.

The Syracuse Stage installation partners include Timothy Bond, Syracuse Stage/VPA Department of Drama producing artistic director, and Jeffrey Woodward, Syracuse Stage managing director.

Additional project-wide support is provided by the Onondaga County Legislature and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney; Syracuse Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll; the Syracuse Public Art Commission and Christine Capella-Peters, chair; and 40 Below and Dominic Robinson, chair.

UVP launch among several downtown holiday celebrations

The Dec. 4 UVP launch is part of an evening of downtown holiday festivities that include:

  • the Downtown East Business Association's annual holiday celebration and tree lighting at 6 p.m. at Fayette Firefighters Memorial Park, featuring music by the Dr. King Gospel Choir and SU, free hot cocoa and cookies, and the arrival of Santa Claus by fire truck (free);
  • 40 Below's Holiday Happy Hour at Shenanigans Bar & Grill, 318 E. Fayette St., from 5:30-7:30 p.m. (free); and
  • the opening night reception for "Everson Unwrapped: A Winter Celebration," a myriad of decorations and unique displays with a special emphasis on art at the Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St., from 7-10 p.m.; tickets and reservations are required; for more information, call (315) 474-6064 or visit http://www.everson.org.

During the academic year, Centro offers the Connective Corridor shuttle bus, a free service to all riders commuting between destinations along the Corridor. Centro will double its service on Dec. 4 from 5-8 p.m. to transport attendees to and from the holiday events.

About the Connective Corridor

The Connective Corridor is emerging as a signature strip of cutting-edge cultural development connecting the University Hill with downtown Syracuse. It is home to three major universities and more than 25 arts and cultural venues, all in close proximity to one another. In the coming months and years, these venues will be stitched together and showcased with new urban landscapes, bike paths, imaginative lighting, public and interactive art, signage and way-finding systems.

Partners in the Corridor project include U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton; U.S. Rep. James Walsh; Gov. David Paterson; the New York State Assembly, led by Assemblyman William Magnarelli; the City of Syracuse; Onondaga County; National Grid, lead corporate partner; Syracuse University; and Time Warner Cable.

For more information on the Connective Corridor, visit http://connectivecorridor.syr.edu.

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