M2m 2011-2012: New Themes, New Monuments

Following the success of its inaugural year, Model to Monument: Year Two sculptors celebrated their installations with leader of the program Greg Wyatt. Working with the theme of "Flux," the sculptors represent a wide array of aesthetics and hail from Europe and Asia, as well as New York City. The monumental works will be installed in New York City public until June 2013.

M2M: Year 2 Press Release             
M2M: Serett Metalworks

Click the thumbnails to the right for hi-res photos of the installation.
Click the thumbnails to the right for hi-res photos of the public ceremony.

M2M is supported in part by a generous grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Pivotal Place: New York City program, whose goals include cultivating civic life and the natural environment, encouraging immigrant civic participation, and supporting individual achievement and artistic expression.
M2M is also sponsored by Extell Development Company and The Aldyn at Riverside Park South.

See the Year Two Sculptors Training



M2M Sculptors 2011-2012:

Sequoyah Aono Renata Pugh
Roberto Franzone Damien Vera
Michael Cloud Hirschfeld Olga Rudenko
Haksul Lee Greg Wyatt, Mentor

Sequoyah Aono
Born in Italy and raised in Japan, Mr. Aono has an MFA from Tokyo University of the Arts and worked as a sculpture installer at the Museum of Contemporary Sculpture in Tokyo. His sculpture has earned numerous awards both in the U.S. and Japan. He has exhibited in two dozen shows in Italy, Switzerland, Japan and the U.S.

Statement About Watching Upon the Present, stainless steel, aluminum, iron, stone; 5’9” H x 5’10” W x 11’4” D (including base)
Once it was very important for humans to live near water, where life originated and basic needs could be met. With advances in civilization, our living environment has remarkably changed. Though we may not need to live near water, whenever we are near the ocean or a river, we feel peace of mind, energy and curiosity. To remind viewers of this connection, my sculpture “Flux” uses the human form. Reclining on the grass and looking out to the Hudson River, the seated woman embodies our enduring gratitude to nature.

Roberto Franzone
A native Roman and architect trained and licensed at the University of Rome, Mr. Franzone moved to New York in 1986 and studied visual Arts at the Parson School of Design, the National Academy of Design and The Arts Students League of New York. Since 1996 he has studied clay modeling, stone/wood carving and mixed media. He has earned a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts - Sculpture. He has earned awards at The National Sculpture Society and The Art Students League, including the Juried Member's exhibition. His work is in the permanent collection of the Art Students League and has been widely exhibited in the New York area and in Italy.

Statement on Red Arches steel, 14’ 6” H x 27’ W x 17’ D
“Motion is a change in space; change is a motion in time.”
Flux – a continuous progression of movements and transformations – characterizes life as well as inert materials as they interact with their natural environments. The figurative and performing arts have an emotional and physical presence. At the same time, audience participation and interaction with such works – theatrical plays or architecture, for example – transform them. A public square is very different at night than at a busy lunch hour. Actors playing among the spectators are not the same when they play on stage.

The open design of my project recalls the columns and domes of ancient ruins, such as a Roman temple or early basilica. It will be a monument with reminders of the past. I designed the sculpture to interact with the surrounding environment and to invite people to walk in, which in turn changes how it is seen. Visitors become part of the structure itself and play a part in the sculptural event.

Michael Cloud Hirschfeld
An MFA in sculpture from the Massachusetts College of Art, Mr. Hirschfeld has shown work at the Jewish Museum of New York and in the current Talk To Me exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. He has worked as an art installer for the Peter Blum Gallery and the Guggenheim.

Statement about Hardcovers (Shunyata) steel, stainless steel, bronze, 8 1/2 ‘ H x 7 ½ ‘ W x 3’ D
A world in flux is perceived by the constantly changing human apparatus.  Through the individual, subjective point of view all space is filled with the projected narrative events we recognize as reality.  How we interpret reality is a fundamental problem of our existence.  A book has value when its intended meaning is understood, in a way that can be conveyed, rather than when the ink is printed on the paper.  We are the beneficiaries of virtually unlimited information and knowledge but we are often without wisdom.  In Mahayana Buddhism, Shunyata, or emptiness, is an attainment wherein one sees things as devoid of individual nature except in relation to one another.

Haksul Lee
A native of South Korea, Mr. Lee has been a technical instructor in the sculpture department at the Art Students League since 2007. From 2008 to 2010 he was a metal fabricator for Louise Bourgeois, and since 2009 he has served as a studio assistant to Bruce Dorfman. He served as a metal fabricator and installer for the first year of Model to Monument. His New York exhibitions include the Technical Instructors exhibitions at the League and Sculptors Alliance 30th Anniversary Exhibition.

Statement about Proceeding Being stainless steel, aluminum, Kevlar, ball bearings, 8’ H x 9’ W x 9’ D
Flux means flowing – a constant process of change. The term says nothing about whether the change is negative or positive, but it does convey the inevitable movement or progression that is an essential aspect of life.

The theme of “flux” suits New York City well, with its distinctive history as a melting pot, receiving diverse populations and their perspectives. My sculpture is meant to embody the city and the dreams of people moving forward on their own terms. Its spherical form incorporates aspects of a ship, an airplane, a fish and a bird. These reflect the city’s half-mechanical, half-organic nature, and the references to sailing and flight evoke the unending exploration and spiritual striving among its people. The monument’s wind-driven motion will make it seem alive.

Renata Pugh
A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Ms. Pugh has worked with sculptures by Remington, Miro, Noguchi, and Nevelson in her position as an art restorer and conservator with Steve Tatti. Traditionally a draughtswoman and printmaker, Ms. Pugh’s recent sculpture studies at the League have helped her render her two-dimensional work in three dimensions.

Statement about Coalescence aluminum, mesh, canvas, 9’ H x 9’ W x 10.5’ D
New York City’s grid pattern of streets -  packed with so much variety in architecture, ethnic groups, restaurants and stores - creates abrupt shifts in visual perspective for anyone walking through neighborhoods, or even just around the block. These stimulating changes give the city its dynamic flow and energy.

Just as Riverside Park becomes visible from the street only at the last minute of approach, I want my sculpture to surprise the viewer. It is a completely abstract form when viewed from behind, but as viewers make their way around, they will discover that its sections merge to form a human head. Its construction has an industrial look, but the tilt of the head suggests the human tendency to daydream, a serenity of mind.  The head itself seems to branch out from physical constraints, like thoughts dissipating.

Olga Rudenko
Born and educated in Ukraine, Ms. Rudenko holds a masters degree in the history of philosophy from the University of Nikolaev, Ukraine. She has studied clay sculpture at the National Academy School of Fine Arts, and since 2007 has studied stone and word carving at the League with Seiji Saito.

Statement about Existence Within
Site 5A: 2012, cast aluminum, acrylic, Ex-74 resin 8 ft. H x 5 ft. W x 3ft. D
Site 5B: 2012, cast stone, print media, acrylic, Ex-74 resin 4 ft. H x 2 ft. W x 2,4 ft. D
Heraclitus: "All is flux. Nothing stays still."
I am interested in looking at change as a tool for surviving in society as an individual. One must adopt rules, morals and cultural values to form a public self and at the same time develop an inner self as a core for personal growth and values. I see Flux as an ever-changing and necessary balance between the public and inner selves. When they are balanced, the social persona protects and allows the individual self to develop. But if allowed to dominate, the public self can suffocate the private being with rules, stereotypes and conventions. Thus individual becomes a shell, often beautiful, but empty inside. The form of my sculpture has origins in the traditional Russian "Matryoshka". Deeply symbolic of womanhood, the elements of the Matryoshka are used to show a contrast between beautiful outside and empty inside.   

Damien Vera
A technical welding instructor at the League, Mr. Vera is a 2007 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was a studio assistant at RPI in welding and at Touchstone Center for Crafts’ glass and wood studios. He served as an installation technician in the first year of Model to Monument. His sculpture has been exhibited in a number of shows in New York and New Jersey.

Statement About Cope, stainless steel, steel, cast stone,  13’ H x 13 ½’ W x 12’ D
Change is inevitable and necessary for progress and innovation. While we humans are affected greatly by the constant flux in our environment, most of the change in our lives comes from ourselves.   A significant part of change is processing the new information presented and adapting to a new situation.  Sometimes these events are fortuitous, other times it can be a tremendous personal, emotion, or physical loss. Gain, loss, and adaptation are the very nature of flux. I designed Cope to incorporate this idea with the feelings of solitude and reflection that I sense in the site itself.  The monument’s towering pillars evoke these primal elements to create a personal, visceral experience.

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