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Dartmouth expands public art initiatives with major installation by projection artist Ross Ashton
The work animates each of the five windows of the Hop’s northern façade, an iconic exterior designed by architect Wallace Harrison as a model for his later work on Lincoln Center.

HANOVER, NH.- Dartmouth has commissioned artist and designer Ross Ashton to debut a site-specific light-and-sound installation across the façade of the Hopkins Center of the Arts, in conjunction with “The Hop’s” 50th anniversary and Dartmouth’s ongoing celebration of the arts during the 2012-13 year. The dynamic and large-scale work, titled Five Windows, celebrates the Hop's trailblazing history as one of the first collegiate arts centers in the United States and its role as a regional epicenter of interdisciplinary creativity during the past five decades. On view from October 12 through 16, Five Windows follows the recent installation of major works by Ellsworth Kelly and Louise Bourgeois on campus, and marks the latest example of Dartmouth’s continuing commitment to commissioning and presenting public art by some of the world’s leading contemporary artists.

“Five Windows is part of a remarkable roster of public art that is being presented on campus this year, and it reflects our broader mission to engage the Dartmouth students and faculty, as well as the wider community, in a dialogue through which we strive to make the arts accessible to all,” said Michael Taylor, director of the Hood Museum of Art and chair of the public art committee at Dartmouth. “By enriching our campus with works by cutting-edge artists like Ross Ashton, Dartmouth reaffirms its interest in placing the arts at the center of the college or university experience, making it a national model for the creative campus of the 21st century.”

Ashton’s work draws on an understanding of the relationship between structure and light, object and subject, and his large-scale projections have been presented throughout the world, including his recent video projection Face Britain for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in London in 2012. “Five Windows is a celebration of the Hop and how it came to be, the times it came from and the people involved, and the fact that it’s a space for creativity,” said Ashton.

The work animates each of the five windows of the Hop’s northern façade, an iconic exterior designed by architect Wallace Harrison as a model for his later work on Lincoln Center. The projection draws upon both archival and recent images and videos of the Hop, including: blueprints and schematic drawings from the planning of the building; photos of the construction and inauguration; posters from throughout the Hop’s five decades; and footage from past performances. Five Windows will be accompanied by a new score composed by Howie Saunders, which interweaves audio recordings from a Hop inauguration speech in 1962 by poet Robert Frost—one of his last public addresses.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Ross Ashton on Five Windows, which captures the spirit of artistic excellence and creative experimentation that has defined Dartmouth's Hopkins Center for the Arts for the past 50 years,” said Hopkins Center Director Jeffrey James. “This incredible new work celebrates the Hop’s history as a beacon of the nation’s collegiate arts community, and we look forward to another 50 years and beyond, where the community can continue to take advantage of the Hop's many academic and public programs.”

The presentation of Five Windows follows the recent installations of Louise Bourgeois’ Crouching Spider—an immense bronze and stainless steel sculpture on loan for the year from the artist’s estate—and Dartmouth Panels, a specially commissioned, site-specific work by Ellsworth Kelly that consists of five aluminum panels, each painted in a single block of radiant color, that grace the eastern façade of the Hop. This winter, Dartmouth will install the Ice Chimes, a weather-responsive sculpture that unites science, art, architecture, and music, by Dartmouth alumnus Keith Moskow '83 and Robert Linn of Moskow Linn Architects. Transforming the sound of melting icicles into music, Ice Chimes will be on display on Dartmouth’s campus during the winter months of 2012-13.

Dartmouth’s robust slate of public art installations during the 2012-13 year continues an 80-year tradition of engaging contemporary artists in the life of the campus and community. Dartmouth’s legacy of public art programming dates back to 1932, when the school commissioned noted Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco to create a mural in Baker Library. The resulting 3,200-square-foot work, The Epic of American Civilization, is widely recognized today as one of the most historically significant murals of the 20th century. Since the 1930s, Dartmouth has welcomed more than 150 artists-in-residence to its campus, among them Walker Evans, Donald Judd, R.B. Kitaj, Magdalene Odundo, Robert Rauschenberg, George Rickey, Alison Saar, and Frank Stella. Dartmouth’s rich collection of public art installations currently includes works by such artists as Mark di Suvero, Allan Houser, Beverly Pepper, Richard Serra, and Joel Shapiro.

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