October 7, 2014

Art with a Conscience at Ithaca Falls

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BY DANNI SHEN

Cave painting is brought to life by the unexpected use of construction lights and repurposed plastic bag bird sculptures in a stunning, interactive, multi-media outdoor installation by Jenn Houle, grad. In a one-night, two-hour event on September 26, the artist combined colored lights, wind and history to create Featherlight (foul falls). The show’s namesake is borrowed from the Featherlight model shotgun, manufactured by Ithaca Gun Co. for over a century above Ithaca Falls. Industrial pollutants lingered after the plant’s relocation, which then entered the ecosystem after contaminated animal remains were consumed by scavenger animals. Hydropower fueled the first industries of the nation yet simultaneously polluted major river ways. As viewers of the spectacle, we are reminded of the impacts of rampant nation- and industry-building today. The Sun sat down with Houle after the exhibit to talk about her work, the history of Ithaca Falls and environmental activism in art.

Courtesy of Jenn Houle, grad

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