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New Project, Marthas Vineyard Art Collection

ART FOR THE PEOPLE- ART IN HOSPITALS

Martha’s Vineyard Hospital’s Permanent Collection 


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Preliminary sketch for a custom pedestal and case for a Stella Waitzkin book sculpture.

Last week, we were approached by a lovely couple who were looking to build an enclosed pedestal and mount for a cast-resin sculpture titled Wedding Book by the late artist, Stella Waitzkin. Assisting collectors in building conservational and practical means of displaying their acquisitions is something we have specialized in since we opened our doors, however, this particular circumstance was something very special.

The couple that came to visit us here in Brooklyn was Edward F. Miller and Monina von Opel, of Martha’s Vineyard. This sculpture is not destined for this family’s own private collection, quite the contrary. Mr. Miller is the Vice Chairman of the board of Trustees at Martha’s Vineyard hospital, the only hospital in Dukes County. For the past three years, Mr. Miller and his wife have dedicated themselves to advancing the hospital’s permanent collection. Placing art in hospitals has been a hot topic as of late, and recent articles by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal have shown a significant increase in awareness of the health benefits art can have on not only the patients, but on their families and caregivers as well. Transforming the traditionally sterile and industrial environment of a hospital can help people heal, as recent scientific research has suggested. So, while this is not necessarily a new concept, the model set in place by Mr. Miller and his colleagues is certainly something to be admired.

Photo: Edward Miller and Monina von Opel, husband and wife team and public faces of the collection. (Photo Courtesy of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine)

Photo: Edward Miller and Monina von Opel
(Photo Courtesy of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine)

This is not art for art’s sake, this collection has been developed and polished with the Hospital’s patients, families, employees, and location in mind. While the collection does not include any million-dollar listings, the Hospital has catalogued over 350 works of art that have all been donated to the institution. That’s right. The Hospital is not reallocating resources for acquisitions that should go towards providing the highest quality of healthcare to its community. In fact, not only is the artwork donated, but you’ll often find Mr. Miller and Mrs. Opel hanging and lighting the artwork themselves in the hallways of the Hospital.

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Photo: The hallways of the Hospital are lined with over 350 pieces that are in some way associated with the Vineyard. (Photo Courtesy of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine)

Having recently undergone a multi-million dollar building renovation, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital had allocated a small budget to purchase and hang some nondescript poster art that you could find in any hospital in any city of the country. But that wasn’t good enough for Mr. Miller and his companions. He wanted the art on the walls to be able to reflect what was happening outside of the walls. In an article for the Martha’s Vineyard Times, Mr. Miller was quoted :

“The hospital’s architects offered us art, but it was all generic. You could be anywhere. And we wanted you to know you were on the Vineyard. We have so many creative people on the Island, we thought it would be a fantastic thing to bring that creativity into what would otherwise be very institutional.”

Martha’s Vineyard is a place that is bursting with creativity, so why not take advantage of that fact and pay tribute to those who call the Vineyard their home and provide respite for those looking for just a glimpse outside the hospital walls. Catalogued and labeled as any proper collection should be; visitors, patients, staff members, and even the general public can be found at any time during the day wandering the hallways of the Hospital admiring the work.

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Photo: “Moonrise/Summer,” oil on linen by Kib Bramhall, outside the intensive care unit waiting room.” Photo by Susan Safford (Photo Courtesy of Martha’s Vineyard Times)

New Project firmly believes in the power of art to evoke emotion, tell a story, engage, and challenge the viewer. Above all though, we believe in arts ability to help heal. If a piece of art can offer someone a moment of peace, encourage someone to get up out of a bed, or provide an escape from a stressful environment, then it is doing its job.

There is a screening process for all donations, and of course they cannot accept every piece into the collection. Visit the Hospital’s website for more information and to view the extensive collection.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

The Holiday Season in New York City


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NYC’s cultural institutions offer top-quality programming and exhibits around this time of year. Navigating the overwhelming options can be, well, overwhelming. With seven kids under the age of ten and one more on the way in our New Project family, we have some experience finding the best options for meaningful and exciting family time in the city.

If you’ve been following us online for the past month, you’re likely familiar with our latest project at the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) in NYC, an exhibit titled Robot Swarm. The response has been glowing from visitors of all ages! The museum is open to the public seven days a week from 10am to 5pm, so there’s no excuse to miss it. You’ll find yourself just as immersed and fascinated as your kids, trust us, we always end up tied up in the Enigma Cafe.

Make sure you check out the other exhibits we’ve built for the museum, including the Logo Generator, Formula Morph, Harmony of Spheres, Motionscape, and Sixth Sense while you are there. Kudos go out to our friends and collaborators at MOEY, a Brooklyn based interactive design company we worked in conjunction with on these pieces.

 

LOGO GENERATOR
“Manipulate mathematical symbols symmetrically to create a unique MoMath-style logo” –MoMath

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Logo Generator allows the visitors to create their own MoMath logo.

 

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Here is the Logo Generator in our Brooklyn metal shop before all of the wires, sensors, and electronics were installed.

 

Check out the custom made joystick for the exhibit we built in our shop. (Photo courtesy of MOEY)

Check out the custom made joystick for the exhibit we built in our shop. (Photo courtesy of MOEY)

FORMULA MORPH
“Bring formulas to life by exploring the multitude of unusual three-dimensional surfaces they can create” –MoMath

 

Formula Morph is one of our favorite interactives we have made for the museum.

Formula Morph is one of our favorite interactives we have made for the museum.

 

Brett Kahler, Dennis Potami, Emily Conrad and Joey Stein discuss how the electronics will run through the metal structure.

Brett Kahler, Dennis Potami, Emily Conrad and Joey Stein discuss how the electronics will run through the metal structure.

 

Looking at the guts of Formula Morph.

Looking at the guts of Formula Morph.

 

In case your curious, here is the mathematical formula for a heart.

In case your curious, here is the mathematical formula for a heart.

HARMONY OF SPHERES
“Create a harmonic soundscape using this interactive musical sculpture, which takes its shape from the symmetries of the 12-tone musical scale”  –MoMath
Working on the prototype.

Working on the prototype.

 

Copper baskets were soldered for the inside of each sphere, to create an electrical field for sensing a hand's touch.

Copper baskets were soldered for the inside of each sphere, to create an electrical field for sensing a hand’s touch.

 

Willen Teofilo assembles the armature on the jig.

Willen Teofilo assembles the armature on the jig.

 

The finished project is a centerpiece at MoMath.

The finished project is a centerpiece at MoMath.

MOTIONSCAPE
“Explore the relationship between position, velocity, and acceleration with a full-body movement experience.”  –MoMath
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Motionscape tracking Ella Barth’s position, velocity, and acceleration.

SIXTH SENSE
“Choose six numbers and see how the machine predicted what their sum would be before the first number was even chosen” –MoMath

 

The brass shell pieces before they are assembled.

The brass shell pieces before they are assembled.

 

James Marsella wiring up the Nixie Tubes.

James Marsella wiring up the Nixie Tubes.

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Our entire team here at New Project wishes you and your families a happy holiday season and a beautiful New Year!

Thank you for your support and see you in 2015!

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Robot Swarm

The Robots Are Coming- Robot Swarm at MoMath

Robot Swarm at the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)


 

The Swarm Is Coming: Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) 

The Swarm Is Coming: Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), NYC

 

Robot Swarm is a full-body interactive experience that is based on a hot-topic in the robotics world right now: the mathematics of emergent behavior. Visitors to the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) will have the opportunity to step into the ring and come foot-to-face with a colony of horseshoe-crab-shaped creatures who will monitor your movement and react based on a series of behavioral commands. Sound fun? IT IS!

The museum is calling Robot Swarm The nation’s most technologically ambitious robotics exhibit ever. Controlled by a touch-screen panel on the outer-edge of the exhibit, visitors choose from five different scenarios (including On Your Marks, Run Away, Swarm, Pursue and Robophobia) which will then provide a set of rules to the robot colony below. Not only will the robots take into account the visitor’s location in order to perform these rules, but they will also use the locations of their neighboring inhabitants to execute their tasks. If you have ever wondered what it felt like to be Godzilla descending upon a city full of fleeing man-made creatures, or have ever had the urge to literally watch lines of computer code come to life before your eyes, then Robot Swarm will certainly not disappoint.

New Project has been fortunate enough to work with MoMath on a number of projects since its inception. Since then, we have served as one of the museum’s primary fabrication and installation companies. Last year, alongside Tim Nissen-MoMath’s Chief of Design, Three Byte Intermedia-a local technology consulting firm, and Knowledge Resources of Basel, Switzerland, we began working on the fabrication and installation of MoMath’s newest interactive exhibit Robot Swarm which will open to the public on Sunday, December 14th.

Beneath your feet, the robots, equipped with unique personalities and characteristics, will react to your every step based on the rules provided to them. Quite frankly, Three-Byte Intermedia and Knowledge Resources have blown our minds with their creations. Stay tuned to our blog when we sit down and chat with Chris Keitel, Principal at Three-Byte Intermedia about the project.

We’ve helped MoMath realize an exhibit that had been on their minds since the museum was first built. New Project helped bring their clean, industrial looking structure to reality to serve as the largest robotic home for coolest colony of robots. The display consists of a pressurized structural steel and glass contained frame that creates the robots playground and their docking and service stations. The overall structure suggests a boxing ring. Once in the ring you’ll be captivated by the uncanny movement of the robots triggering your instinctual desire to either fight or flee. The framing structure sits atop a wood chassis which was all built here at our shop in Brooklyn and then relocated and permanently installed on the lower level of the museum.

 

From left: Tim Nissen- Chief of Design, MoMath, Glen Whitney, Executive Director MoMath, Chris Keitel- Pincipal, Three-Byte Intermedia, and Cindy Lawrence- Co-Executive Director, MoMath.

From left: Tim Nissen- Chief of Design, MoMath, Mike Stengle- Knowledge Resources Group, Glen Whitney, Executive Director MoMath, Chris Keitel- Principal, Three-Byte Intermedia, and Cindy Lawrence- Co-Executive Director, MoMath.

 

Terry working on the wood chassis in our Brooklyn shop

Terry working on the wood chassis in our Brooklyn shop.

 

Brett, our metal fabricator, mounting the custom made ADA compliant handrail.

Brett, our metal fabricator, mounting the custom made ADA compliant handrail.

The swarm of robots are sealed beneath glass so that they and all of their delicate components are protected from visitors and other harmful materials. We had to make sure that the entire structure was built like a reverse vacuum, pushing out all dirt and dust from the museum.

 

Ensuring the vents are clear and the access points are working on site, prior to installing the glass

Frank ensuring the vents are clear and the access points are working on-site, prior to installing the glass floor

 

Perhaps the biggest challenge we faced while installing the exhibit was the lowering and the placement of two large glass panels each weighing in at almost 2,000 lbs. The panels, which would later become the floor of the exhibit, were placed into a storage area at the time of the museum’s construction, as the glass would be too large to be able to fit down the stairwell once the stairs were built. Basically, that gave us one shot to get it right. If they broke, there was no way to replace them.

No pressure guys no pressure.

 

Terry and James carefully maneuvering he glass panels out from storage

Terry and James carefully maneuvering the glass panels out from the museum’s storage.

 

Jody positioning and securing the gantry in order to hoist the glass out of the crates and safely onto the moving dolly.

Jody positioning and securing the gantry in order to hoist the glass out of the crates and safely onto the moving dolly.

 

Dennis, CEO, overseeing the placement of the glass floor

Dennis, CEO of New Project (kneeling), overseeing the placement of the glass floor onto the moving dolly.

 

Luckily, our installation team is amazing and, using custom-made dollies, and gantry that barely fit, and a set of carefully-placed car jacks, the glass panels were lowered into place over a two-night installation without a hitch. As you would expect, Terry was pretty stoked about it.

 

Terry being pretty stoked about it.

Terry celebrating after the first panel was successfully put into place.

 

Once Robot Swarm is open to the public we’ll post videos and photos of the exhibit in use, stay tuned! To experience our creation first-hand, check out Robot Swarm at MoMath, located at 11 East 26th Street in Manhattan. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

New project team putting on the finishing touches.

Part of New Project’s installation team putting on the finishing touches before the exhibit is open to the public.

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