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Local artist looks for support in bringing project to life

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 6:20 p.m.CST
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(Provided photo)
Local artist Greta Bell's next project is called the r/evolving Circus (Our Evolving Circus), the project is a pop-up art installation powered by a bicycle.

Artist Greta Bell has made a splash in the local art world since moving to Batavia in 2007. She has been featured as the Art In Your Eye poster artist (2010), a winner of the people’s choice award during the Aurora Art Walk, and she also stays busy with commission work and shows.

Bell’s next project utilizes a concept that will allow her to share her work with the community. Called the r/evolving Circus (Our Evolving Circus), the project is a pop-up art installation powered by a bicycle. R/evolving circus is a selection of people’s stories transformed into paintings, and displayed on a spinning carousel. The carousel is 12 feet in diameter and was built by Bell’s friend and fellow Water Street Studios artist Jim Jenkins.

The stories Bell brings to life with paint come from audience participation. Once the carousel is shown, the audience responds by giving Bell a photograph followed by a story of something meaningful brought forth by a participant. Bell then makes a painting of that object and adds it to the carousel.

In a recent press release, Bell said: “It is a way of learning from each other. People are sharing with me their precious objects. Not just the object, but the story behind it. Then by going out into the public with the paintings, the carousel honors, rewards and inspires the story teller in all of us.”

In earlier design stages, Bell said that the carousel “... took two people a few hours to set up. While it looked impressive, it didn’t lend itself to traveling.”

Jenkins and Bell continue to tweak the designs to the carousel and have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for upgrades.

“With the proper funding, we hope to make all of the necessary modifications over the winter and be ready to take it on the road the spring of 2013,” said Bell in the release.

Once complete, r/evolving Circus will be taken to schools, community events and to areas that are not as exposed to the arts.

Bell is hosting a free “Q&A Cookie Party” about r/evolving Circus from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at Water Street Studios in Batavia.

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