Weatherspoon Art Museum, Downtown Greensboro Inc. and ArtBeat Greensboro invite the Greensboro community to the Inaugural

by YES! Weekly staff

GreensboroN.C. – Beginning on May 1, Downtown Greensboro will be home to a unique, outdoor, public art venture.  Presenting what is known as “Tape Art,” a relatively new art form using biodegradable “green” painter’s tape, several public art pieces will be installed at center city locations by nationally known tape artist Michael Townsend.  The kick-off date for the event is scheduled for Friday, May 1st at Downtown living museum, Elsewhere Artist Collaborative at the 606 & 608 South Elm Street facade.  The temporary installation is being brought to the center city by the WeatherspoonArt Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Weatherspoon Art Museum Curator of Education, Ann Grimaldi, is leading the project.

Ann comments “We are excited to bring Michael back to Greensboro.  Part of the fun of Michael’s work is how accessible it is as an art medium.”

"Tape Art" is based around a simple drawing process that uses biodegradable/ sustainable painter’s tape that can be placed on buildings and walkways of varying surfaces like brick, concrete, glass or metal to create drawings of people, animals and entire theatrical scenes.  Mr. Townsend and his apprentices have worked all over the world and have created more than 400 life-size illustrations.  He has recently returned from a trip to Hong Kong.

In the week following the May 1 launch, the community is invited to come outside and experience the public process of “Tape Art” as Mr. Townsend will create several (5-7) temporary drawings at locations across Downtown.  Installation sites and times will be listed on the DGI and Weatherspoon websites later this week, while various community collaborators will Twitter about the progression.The art installation will also kick-off on the first day of the week-long art celebration, ArtBeat, and coincide with Downtown Greensboro’s showcase of its creative community, First Friday. 

“Another deciding factor in inviting Michael to do this outreach project is his interest in visually transforming urban areas and connecting people with the spaces in which they live,” Ann continued.

While often spanning entire city blocks, the “Tape Art” drawings are temporary and will last the duration of the week.  On May 7, Townsend will give a public talk on his Greensboro project, Drawn Together, at the WeatherspoonArt Museum beginning at 6:30 pm and culminate the project by leading a “take-down” on May 8 where onlookers have an opportunity to remove the tape and are encouraged to participate in this public art process.

This milestone Downtown art project will be an expansion on Mr. Townsend’s first visit to Greensboro in 2003.  Utilizing a cherry picker and neon green tape, he created a landscape of people on the Spring Garden Street facade of the WeatherspoonArt Museum on the campus of UNC-Greensboro.  The entire drawing took three days.  Examples of installations in other communities include murals at hospitals, public buildings, offices and even Disney World.

“As a contemporary artist, Michael blurs the line between art and audience, and for the Weatherspoon, this is something that we’re interested in sharing with the community,” Ann ended.

Check the following Web sites for updates on installation days, times and locations: