SUN PARTIAL SHADE
For Bright Sun Partial Shade, Paul Druecke commissioned a piece
of artwork by artist Scott Wolniak. Druecke commissioned the work in order
to give it to the city of Houston. The unveiling of this gift took place
on Sunday June 5th, 2005, from 6 - 7 p.m. in Market Square Park. The historic
Market Square Park is located in downtown Houston between Travis and Milam
and Preston and Congress.
In Bright Sun Partial Shade, Druecke plays the roles of both
benefactor and artist, and in doing so he created a hybrid persona. This
persona bridges stereotypes about the social roles of artist and philanthropist.
The result is a precarious blend of unimpeded make-believe and powerful
generosity. As in past projects by Druecke, Bright Sun Partial Shade
twists and recasts assumptions about our relationship to one another and
to society. In her essay, Snapshot, Amanda Douberly writes of Druecke's
work, "Community lingers in the background of all of [his] work.
… The concept of community at work in Druecke's projects centers
on shared experiences that connect us to each other in ways that are often
surprising, and frequently ignored."
The project comes in response to Houston's long tradition of philanthropy
and libertarian leanings, and in recognition of the continuing struggle
to keep our urban spaces both vibrant and relevant.
Druecke has chosen a piece from Wolniak's Weed series because the work
has a delicate optimism along with a transgressive undertow. For this
series, Wolniak fabricates beautiful multi-colored weeds from recycled
trash. He says of the project, "These materials [garbage and weeds]
appear and reappear day after day with amazing persistence, inspiring
me to consider the social and natural forces behind the ephemera."
Mr. Wolniak has exhibited his Weeds at the art galleries, White Columns,
NYC, Spencer Brownstone Gallery, NYC, Locust Projects, Miami, Peres Projects,
LA, and Mixture Contemporary, Houston, TX.
Paul Druecke's past projects include:
The Community Courtyard, 2005, bypassing the official museum
channels for overseeing such matters, Druecke solicited sponsors to rename
the west lawn of the Contemporary Art's Museum Houston. The sponsors were
commemorated on a tee shirt, which was produced for the group show, Amalgama,
at the Contemporary Art's Museum Houston.
A Public Space: Main Street Square, 2004, for which he invited
24 people from diverse walks of life to photograph the same public space,
Main Street Square, in downtown Houston. Exhibited at Project Row Houses,
Between Sleep and Awake, 2003-2004, a photographic series of
self-portraits capturing the transition from sleeping to awake. Druecke
orchestrated this group of photos by setting up his camera, with cable
release, at the bedside of twenty-five people and instructing them to
snap their image the very first thing upon waking. Exhibited in the group
show, Amalgama, Contemporary Art's Museum Houston, at Inman Gallery, Houston,
TX, and at KMart, Milwaukee, WI.
Blue Dress Park, 2000, a one-night event christening a forlorn
patch of cement as Blue Dress Park. Without seeking official sanction,
Druecke invited city officials, neighboring communities, family, and friends
to participate in the transformation of an ill-designed public space.
The physical space was not altered.