SUNY Canton assistant professor capitalized on the abundance of snow in Upstate New York as a medium for his latest artwork.
Mathew J. Burnett, an assistant professor in SUNY Canton’s humanities department who teaches in the graphic and multimedia design program, was recently mentioned in the Boston Globe for his large-scale snow sculpture installation “E-Luminations.” Burnett and fellow artist Scott Fuller, assistant professor of fine art at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, transformed St. Lawrence University’s quad into a large-scale public art gallery using snow and several customized slide projectors in February.
“We’re used to seeing small-scale bursts of creativity in the snowmen and forts that people craft in parks and backyards,” wrote Courtney Humphries for The Boston Globe article entitled Rethinking Snow. “Yet when faced with so much excess, why not apply those impulses on a grander scale? Around the world, innovative artists, architects, and planners in cold climates have used snow as a design material, transforming it into giant pieces of public art, architecture, and landscaping.”
Enlisting the help of SUNY Canton and St. Lawrence students, Burnett and Fuller carved giant snowballs to use as canvases for projections of their abstracted paintings. Each night for a week, they used LCD and slide projectors to light up the 8-foot orbs with a colorful rotating selection of artwork.
“In our previous installation, we used old local photographs,” Burnett said. “At St. Lawrence we used images and videos of ice, water, and fire, and abstract paintings we made to enhance the visual effect of the sculptures.”
St. Lawrence University Photographer Tara Freeman captured one of the most telling images of the installation within its overall environment. It was published on the cover of the Spring 2011 St. Lawrence University Magazine and reproduced with permission for this release.
To read The Boston Globe article, visit: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2011/03/13/rethinking_snow/