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High Museum of Art transforms Piazza with interactive design installation
The project features more than 35 three-dimensional, open frames in the shape of a house.

ATLANTA, GA.- The High Museum of Art has unveiled a large-scale, interactive design installation by contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena on the Woodruff Arts Center’s Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza. The site-specific work launches a two-year initiative to activate the outdoor space.

On view July 18 through Nov. 2, 2014, “Mi Casa, Your Casa” invites the city to participate in the life of the entire campus of the Woodruff Arts Center (of which the Museum is a division), through recreation, social interaction, performances, art-making activities, and special events co- organized with local partner institutions.

As a blank canvas for community engagement and programming, “Mi Casa, Your Casa” draws its inspiration from a basic form recognizable and relatable to all—the home.

The project features more than 35 three-dimensional, open frames in the shape of a house installed throughout the Piazza and around the Woodruff Arts Center campus, both in clusters and as singular forms. The vibrant red 8 x 8 x 10.5-foot steel frames have been installed in two different patterns: one through the summer season to coincide with the High’s major exhibition “Dream Cars: Innovative Design, Visionary Ideas,” and another in the fall for the opening of the Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra seasons.

Co-curated by the High’s Curator of Decorative Arts and Design Sarah Schleuning and Eleanor McDonald Storza Director of Education Virginia Shearer, this innovative project explores how engagement with art and design can extended beyond the museum’s walls through these dynamic structures, enlivened by a variety of programs, art-making activities and other interactive features.

“The goal of this project is to bring our outdoor space to life with art,” said Michael E. Shapiro, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. director of the High. “Artistic engagement and enjoyment begin as soon as visitors set foot on the Woodruff Arts Center campus, not just when entering its buildings.

The “Mi Casa, Your Casa” initiative builds on a partnership the High established in 2013 with Esrawe and Cadena. For the 2013 exhibition “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting,” the High commissioned the design team to create two dynamic, contemporary reading rooms within the exhibition. Based on visitor reactions to those installations, the High commissioned the designers to create a new intervention for its Piazza space, which resulted in their creation of “Mi Casa, Your Casa.”

“We want to create a space that makes visitors proud of who they are and where they live, that allows them to feel a sense of belonging,” said Esrawe. “We want people to say, ‘This is my city, my home.’”

In addition to “Mi Casa, Your Casa,” the High has commissioned Esrawe and Cadena to design a second intervention for the Piazza for the summer of 2015, which will be inspired by the public’s interaction with this year’s project. After these initial two years, the High and the Woodruff Arts Center will explore other potential activation projects for the outdoor space.

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