- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Artist covers old gas station with huge blanket
AP Photo NYKR101, NYKR102, NYKR103, NYKR104
DEWITT, N.Y. (AP) – Jennifer Marsh was sick of paying high gas prices and bothered by the abandoned gas station that was an eyesore on the drive to her studio each day.
So the aspiring artist and inspired activist came up with an idea – to cover the gas station with a colossal handmade blanket in a way that would bring greater attention to the world’s dependency on oil.
“I really tried to find a good balance of art and politics. I don’t want it to be just a political statement. And I don’t want it to just be a sculpture,” said the 27-year-old Marsh, who is finishing her master of fine arts degree at nearby Syracuse University.
“I wanted to startle people so they would stop and think about it (oil) … and be inspired to make up their own opinions about the situation and how it has affected their community,” she said.
With the help of professional and amateur artists from 15 countries and more than 2,500 grade-school students in 29 states, Marsh covered the 50-year-old former Citgo station – pumps, light stands, signs and all – with more than 3,000 fiber panels that are crocheted, knitted, quilted or stitched together.
The panels cover 5,000 square feet and come in every color, hue and texture. There are panels in burlap, leather, even silk. There are panels of solid color and others with patterns, prints or scenes. Some carry written messages: “Give me oil or give me death.”
Some of the more imaginative panels are made with the labels from plastic beverage containers, plastic shopping bags and plastic six-pack carriers – all petroleum products.
A nearby kiosk explains the project – called WRAP, for World Reclamation Art Project.
Bulgarian artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude are among those who have received global attention with their outdoor public art. In 2005, the pair put up more than 7,500 door frames draped with orange fabric along 23 miles of footpaths in New York City’s Central Park. The couple are planning next to drape seven miles of the Arkansas River in fabric.
Marsh, originally from Columbus, Ohio, got interested in using sculpture as social medium after a volunteer trip to Dharmasala, India, several years ago. To pursue her ideas for community-based art projects, Marsh founded the International Fiber Collaborative.
“This is much more meaningful than making objects in the studio with the door closed, and has so much more impact than any of my sculptures could have in a museum or gallery,” Marsh said.
The project cost about $29,000, much of it her own money. There were also grants and contributions from individuals and businesses.
Marsh’s plan was to cover a barn until she drove by the gas station one day in March 2007 and had an impulse. She tracked down the gas station owner and got permission to use his property. Then she went to the DeWitt Planning Board to get approval.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- MALCOLM/REIMER: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow