Aquarium at the Pointe Installed!

image001OMAHA, Neb. (February 26, 2014) – Village Pointe® Shopping Center and Omaha Creative Institute have collaborated with local textile artist Dori Settles to create a dramatic transformation to the shopping center’s public art sculpture, which sits in the middle of its Main Street roundabout.image003

Settles and her team installed textile treatments to the shopping center’s sculpture (“Reaching” by artist Peggy Ritschel) to create a new artistic interpretation of the original work. Settles’ view on the existing artwork with its extending “arms” inspired her to envision an undersea theme and a whimsical recreation Settles calls “Aquarium at the Pointe”. Textile mediums including yarns, fabrics and plastics along with netting and quilted sections were juxtaposed atop the existing sculpture arms to represent sea creatures including jelly fish, octopus and other sea creatures dwelling in an under-the-ocean scene.

“Aquarium at the Pointe” is expected to remain in place through April. A special gathering in celebration of the art installation will take place in mid-March at Village Pointe with details to be announced.

About Omaha Creative Institute
Omaha Creative Institute (OCI) strives to make arts easily accessible in the metro. It coordinates team building events for groups of all sizes; offers public two-hour workshops from ukulele to blacksmithing to watercolor, etc.; produces large community-wide events; and participates in area festivals, parades, and more. OCI promotes artistic advancement in all capacities. From supporting artists to offering widespread access to creativity, the organization works to encourage innovation and imagination in everyone.

“Aquarium at the Pointe”
Art installation by Dori Settles
Village Pointe Shopping Center
March – April 2014

Artist Statement
When I first saw the sculpture “Reaching” by Peggy Ritschel, I immediately saw tentacles and/or seaweed emerging from the base. Knowing the project was to lift spirits on dreary winter days, and that the installation would occur near Dr. Suess’ birthday, I was drawn to create something bright — perhaps bold — and definitely whimsical. I put the word out to members in our Cottonwood Quilt Guild small group, Funtastic Fibers, looking for materials and assistance in creating the project.

Several members brought fabrics and yarns; one sent information on “arm knitting” for the netting, and two agreed to help in the studio. Many of the donated fabrics have been dyed or painted to create the colors we needed. Missy Merriman, a quilter and pattern designer, collaborated on layout, colors and painting. Diane Ostdiek, a long-time fine artist and quilter, joined Missy and me in cutting, sewing, quilting and stuffing all of the sea creatures found swimming, sitting and seemingly flying in our underwater world.

Why an underwater world? Going back to Dr. Suess, none of us could get “One Fish, Two Fish” out of our heads. We enjoyed the challenge of creating fabric sea creatures that resembled their real-life counterparts, yet had a whimsical quality about them.

Diane Ostdiek, Missy Merriman, Dori Settles and Sophie
Diane Ostdiek, Missy Merriman, Dori Settles and Sophie

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