Following a national competition for the honor, artist Lisa Hoke of New York City was commissioned to create a new installation for the NBMAA at the top of the LeWitt Staircase leading from the first to second floor of the Museum.
Hoke is a 2008 recipient of a fellowship sponsored by the Edwin Austin Abbey Endowment at the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts. More than 50 artists from throughout the U.S. submitted proposals for the project, coordinated in conjunction with NBMAA Director Douglas Hyland. A panel of six judges reviewed applications for the project, including three Museum representatives — Hyland, NBMAA Chairman Timothy McLaughlin and Trustee Linda Cheverton-Wick.
Hoke’s work replaced The Eye, an installation created by Stephen Hendee of Las Vegas in 2006 for the opening of the Chase Family Building.
Hoke is known for the innovative use of “found” materials in her work. Her NBMAA installation was created using clear plastic cups coated with vibrantly colored paints, as well as new and vintage opaque paper cups found through a variety of sources.
Thousands of cups are attached to Museum walls with grommets or glue, creating a breathtaking, jewel-like visual impact with swirls of color and texture. During her installation, Hoke worked with several assistants to choreograph the work, which extends from the wall at the top of the staircase, around the windows and up the inner wall next to the staircase as it reaches the second floor.
Hoke’s installation, like Stephen Hendee’s work The Eye, is a temporary piece which will be replaced in two to five years by another commissioned work of art. Recently, it was featured on the cover of Art New England.