Bari Ziperstein, this year’s Artist-in-Residence, will collaborate with five Visual Arts classes and showcase her work alongside Marlborough student artwork at an exhibition called “Mapping History” in Seaver Gallery from May 8 to Jun. 1, 2012.
Complementing this year’s all-school theme of “Strengthening and Celebrating the Community,” Ziperstein proposed to build an installation that would create intersections between history, architecture, ornamentation and the site.
As part of this initiative, Ziperstein plans to transform Seaver Gallery into a sculptural tableau based on images from Marlborough’s archives that will challenge viewers to examine the history and the future of the School.
“My goal is that when people walk into the Gallery, they will be confronted with the past and those memories,” Ziperstein said. “The students’ work will be installed on top of a new site-specific colored tape installation that I will create which maps the architectural history of the site and thus complements the layered history of Marlborough School.”
Archivist Peter Chinnici provided Ziperstein with old photographs of pre-1940 students and uniforms, which she plans to incorporate into “Mapping History.”
Throughout the second semester, Ziperstein will work with eighth graders enrolled in the two Art Concepts classes, as well as with students in Visual Arts instructor Kathy Rea’s Intermediate Drawing and Painting course.
Specifically, Ziperstein will lead students in turning images of past Marlborough students into several life-sized, freestanding cardboard figures.
According to Visual Arts Department Head Gina Woodruff, 9th through 12th Grade students enrolled in Beginning Sculpture learned during first semester from Ziperstein how to take a flat image and turn it into a three-dimensional form using photographs of students from the archives along with some images of the School and the grounds.
“The biggest challenge is engineering these pieces so they will stand up,” Woodruff said.
8th Grade students in Visual Arts instructor Josh Deu’s class, Introduction to Digital Arts, will utilize historical portraits of former Marlborough girls to create a digital thaumatrope, an early Victorian antecedent of animation.
Ziperstein will also produce a book about her experience that will be on display during the exhibition and will be subsequently donated to the School for future generations to read.
In Sep. 2010, Ziperstein collaborated with Visual Arts instructor Chelsea Dean on Fall Residency I, an exhibit hosted by Cypress College. Together, they built an interpretation of Summercamp—a home in El Sereno that functions as an artist work space—by artistically depicting the history of the house and incorporating the house’s past exhibitions into the college’s gallery.
Dean said she is thrilled to be working with Ziperstein again. “Bari is a great fit for Marlborough because she has a lot of experience doing collaborative projects,” Dean said. “She’s totally organized and always on her game!”