With the addition of veteran Colorado Springs-based sculptor Christopher Weed to the roster for the World of Art Showcase (www.worldofartshowcase.com), the scope of the first year event-a unique celebration of the visual arts at The Wynn Las Vegas December 20-22-just became grander in both appeal and (three-dimensional) size.
Actually, "massive" might be a more appropriate adjective, considering the scale of the eleven iconic works that the multi-faceted artist plans to display in the exhibition hall-after he transports them in a tractor-trailer. Though the work he is sharing represents a very small sample of the hundreds of large-scale public sculptures he has created over the past 20 years, the size and subjects of these items-from the 60" in diameter 850lb. Spore from his "Spores" installation, to the 17-foot-tall, 4,500 lb. abstracted Door titled "Portal." "Portal 2" from his current display in downtown Colorado Springs-typifies the uniqueness and large scale vision of Weed's creations. His sculptures average from 25-30 feet high and weigh many thousands of pounds each.
In 2007, 5280 Magazine named his work "Opening Doors" at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center the "Best Public Art in Denver." Recent commissions include those for the RTD light rail and for the cities of Aurora, Lafayette, Boulder and Fort Collins. His work has appeared in collections everywhere from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Miami to New York, Seattle, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin and his hometown of Philadelphia.
"Portal 2" is an especially emotional work that is part of Public Art "Portal 1 and Portal 2," a temporary installation at the Plaza of the Rockies, It is accessible and open to the public through June 2013. Consisting of two larger than life, abstract retro televisions, Portal 1 stands 30' high and weighs over 4.5 tons. Portal 2 stands 18' tall and has incorporated video elements, including images of Weed's "Spores" installation at Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, with 20 spores in all.
The videos were created by Weed's brother Matthew, the youngest of seven siblings whose life was cut short in July 2011 by leukemia. They run 24 hours a day throughout the 2012 exhibit. Highlighting Matthew's unique and clever vision through videography, the powerful two-piece exhibit is Weed's homage to his late brother-perfectly placed because Matthew regularly visited the ice rink that used to be at the Plaza.
"My brother was multi-talented and shot dozens of short films and other videos in addition to the very artistic work he did on the Spores video," says Weed. "Setting up the Spores installation was quite an event, as the airport granted us one day to load up 20 sculptures and place them in a restricted area dotting the landscape. Matthew set up his camera and he shot this imagery for four hours along with with two other videographers. The spores appear as tumbleweeds and or nautical mines. There was a lot of footage he shot that we hadn't gotten to before he passed away, so the Portal 1 and 2 installation was an opportunity to incorporate his video into one of the TVs. Portal 2 has two 55" LED monitors which loop the video. Portal 1 which is outside acts as a beacon, with RGB/LED lighting on the bottom of the oval that does a slow glow throughout a vast color spectrum, from one color to the next."
Though Weed is only bringing six "spores" to his exhibit at the World of Art Showcase, the full project of 18 spores he exhibited at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center as part of their award winning exhibit "Conflict-Resolution," representations of war and resolve. Blake Milteer FAC Curator described it this way: "Spores simultaneously suggests something playful yet threatening, natural yet out-scaled, organic yet industrial. Accordingly, the forms at-once appear as seed spores, tumbleweeds, thistles, and nautical mines." The sculptures are constructed of powder coated steel spheres with 400, to 475 solid half-inch steel stems welded to each sphere.