2013 Saugerties Chamber of Commerce Public Art Project
Each year Saugerties invites artists to participate in a public art project. Shine On Saugerties was a collection of 36 Lighthouses that are scale models of the Saugerties Lighthouse. Each artist had a different and unique approach to "decorating" the form. The basic form was constructed by local furniture maker, Gus Pedersen. When the artists received them they were bare wood with a solar operated lamp that lights up at night. For my Lighthouse I chose to honor an artist, Katsushika Hokusai, whose woodblock prints and watercolors I have admired time and again. My Concept: The main feature is a handmade sculpted relief tile depicting a giant wave fashioned after Hokusai’s woodblock print. This covered an entire wall of the model. Smaller accent tiles appear on adjoining walls and the tiles were hand painted using underglazes and glazes. The remaining walls were covered in curved natural bamboo. The model’s roof is copper and the base is black lacquer.
“Homage To Hokusai” Many years ago I was introduced to the watercolor paintings and woodblock prints of the Japanese artist, Katsushika Hokusai. His print entitled “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa” was created in the 1920’s and is internationally recognized. This print was the inspiration for my lighthouse design and in my mind is symbolic of recent changes in weather patterns that have resulted in the severe storms of the past two years. I could not think of a more perfect setting for my interpretation of this print than a model of the Saugerties Lighthouse that has withstood many storms for nearly 150 years.
Since the public art event is a fund raiser for local not-for-profit organizations, all the lighthouse were auctioned. My lighthouse now resides at a lovely home overlooking the Hudson River.