Artist Christian Moeller, whose large-scale, site-specific works are found around the globe, will speak at Watkins on Monday, April 11, at 7 p.m., in conjunction with the celebration of Stix, the Metro Arts-commissioned project located downtown at the Korean Veterans Boulevard Roundabout.
Mr. Moeller will offer a free presentation in the Watkins Theater about the inspiration for Stix, in addition to speaking about his other public artworks and career. His appearance is part of the Watkins Visiting Artists Series and is supported by the Metro Arts Percent for Public Art program.
Stix, which occupies almost the entirety of the available space at the roundabout and creates an overall volume of urban dimensions, is 70’ tall and made of 27 wooden poles spaced in an irregular pattern. Made of red cedar, the poles are painted in stripes of various heights in colors of red, orange, light blue, dark blue, and light green. Fifteen up-lights are embedded into the landscaping to illuminate the sculpture at night, resulting in a vibrant display of color, light and shadow.
A native of Frankfurt, Germany, Christian Moeller studied architecture at the College of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt) and at the Academy of Fine Arts (Vienna). After working in the Stuttgart architect’s office of Günther Behnisch, he commenced as guest artist in the Institute for New Media in the Städelschule, Frankfurt, under Peter Weibel. In 1990 he founded his own artist studio and media laboratory in Frankfurt. From 1995 to 1997, Moeller headed the ARCHEMEDIA research institute at the College of Design in Linz, Austria. He was a professor at the State College of Design in Karlsruhe, Germany, until he moved to the United States in 2001. Currently he is professor in the department of Design Media Arts at UCLA and operates his studio in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
His large-scale, site-specific works interrogate and explore the synergies between architecture and sound, technology and moving image. He works with contemporary media technologies to produce innovative and intense physical events, realized from hand-held objects to architectural scale installations. Over the past two decades, he has increasingly focused on the field of public art; his work can be viewed at Changi Airport (Singapore), National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Science Museum (London), Frederieke Taylor Gallery (New York City), Phaeo Museum (Wolfsburg, Germany), SEATAC Airport (Seattle), Centro Cultural Candido Mendes (Rio de Janeiro), and in Santa Monica, Calif., among other notable locations. His 2012 sculpture, Verdi, in Bothell, Wash., received a 2012 Year in Review award from the Public Art Network of the Americans for the Arts.
Stix is part of Metro Arts’ Percent for Public Art Program, a larger initiative designed to build Nashville’s public art collection and deepen cultural access and participation for all Nashvillians. In 2000, a Metro ordinance was passed that earmarks one percent of the net proceeds from general obligation bonds issued for new or major renovation construction of Metro facilities to be set aside for the creation of new public art projects. Stix is the 43rd artwork to be added into the collection.
The Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts), a commission of the Metropolitan Nashville Government, drives a more equitable and vibrant community through the arts. Metro Arts receives operational support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and additional information is available online at www.artsnashville.org.
Now in its sixth year, the Watkins Visiting Artists Series offers the area’s cultural community a rare opportunity to engage the work and ideas of trendsetting visual artists, designers, filmmakers and intellectuals. The guest artists, whose work crosses many disciplinary boundaries, give public presentations, sharing their expertise and perspectives on their careers and providing insight into issues facing contemporary artists and designers. The critically acclaimed initiative has not only brought a number of internationally renowned artists to Nashville—like first-time visitors Harrell Fletcher, R. H. Quaytman, Martha Rosler, David Hilliard, Jonathan Katz, Alec Soth and Artemio Rodriguez—but it has also invigorated the local art scene by introducing artists working in new media and performance—artists like Nick Briz, Jon Satrom and Liz Magic Laser (2013 New York Armory Artist)—and those expanding the parameters of traditional media and art practice—such as Jessica Hische, Ashley Hunt, Chris Sickels, Deborah Luster (2013 Guggenheim Fellow) and Natalia Almada (2013 MacArthur Fellow). Documentary photographer Carolyn Drake (Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, Lange-Taylor Prize) launched the 2015-16 series last fall, which continued with sculptor Steve Tobin (Cheekwood’s Southern Roots).