MINI VISIT – MAZZY BELL AND COURTNEY COOPER

Mazzy Bell and Courtney Cooper

Project: Illimitable Tilt for Present at Peabody

Location: George Peabody library, Baltimore, MD.

Opening Date: March 30, 2018, reception 6-8pm

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How did you decide to work together on this specific project at Peabody library in Baltimore?

Mazzy: I first heard of the call for entry from my professor at MICA, Virginia Anderson. The call asked for proposals of any media– a contemporary take on the architecture of the Peabody Library. Courtney and I had been talking about collaborating on something for a while and when I found out about this call I sent it to her and we began talking about applying. At first we couldn’t decide if we should do it or not, then one day we toured the Library and met Julia (the curator). From there we just started bouncing our brains back and forth!

Courtney: About a week after seeing the Library, we sat down at a coffee shop for a couple hours and came up with a solid plan. We agreed on our idea very quickly and started researching materials, making mock-ups, and putting together our proposal.

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Since this project is a little bit outside of your own natural practices, how was the planning and discovery process? How did you come to the material decisions?

C: A lot of it was trial and error. One day we took a really long trip to Home Depot and walked down every single aisle discussing different materials and possibilities of what we could use to make the sculpture we had in mind.

M: We literally walked down every aisle of Home Depot, which was actually really helpful.

C: I think our first trip we spent at least three hours there.

M: We bought like one thing. Our original idea was to cnc the arched column shape out of foam and for a bunch of reasons that ended up not working out. But I think that was for the best, because it would have been less of a hands-on execution. It’s was more fun to do it like this.

C:Since this project is slightly out of both our normal studio practices, we talked to various peers and mentors about the project to get their opinions. We told a bunch of hardcore sculpture people our plan just to hear what they thought. In the end we just went for it.

M: Just before you came we were putting plaster on the sculpture for the first time and we didn’t know what we were doing. Now we do! Now we’re experts!

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What are your hopes for the piece once it’s installed in the Library?
M: The finished piece sits on this long mirrored platform and the reason behind that is two-fold. First, depending on where you’re standing in the Library, which is this huge immersive space, the arched shape will look like a complete circle– that is also how we came up with the name Illimitable Tilt. Additionally, the mirrored platform will reflect the architectural details of the ceiling, or I guess lack of ceiling, it’s a skylight, in the library. The mirror will reflect light throughout the whole space.

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Mock up of piece

C: And reflect the architecture inside, because the proposal was a contemporary take on the architecture, and we thought the architecture of the building was just so beautiful as it is so we thought we would incorporate in some way into the finished product as well.

M: It’s being installed at the end of March and will be up until September, and then after that it’s staying in [Peabody’s] permanent collection so they can bring it back out whenever.

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What’s next for you both after this project?

M: I’m graduating from MICA with a BFA in Graphic Design. Hopefully I’ll have a job somewhere soon! Other than that, Courtney and I now have a lot of ideas for other projects.

C: We’ve looked at other collaborative projects…

M: Yea, we’ve looked at a few call for entries and looked into getting grant money for specific collaborations. We have a lot of ideas, we definitely want to keep working together.

C: We are both researching for opportunities where we can continue to collaborate on projects together. While making this sculpture we have been brainstorming ideas for futures installations and pieces. We had such a blast working together and want to continue doing it.

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Courtney Cooper (L) and Mazzy Bell (right)

Facebook page for the opening event