Faculty Christy Georg

Christy Georg, a Visiting Assistant Professor in MECA’s Sculpture Program, is driven by her imaginative curiosity, which is reflected in both her life and in her art. She has worked as a deckhand aboard sailing schooners, thru-hiked the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail and the 500-mile Colorado Trail, and cruised the Arctic. Endurance, achievement, and a Sisyphean attempt to capture the present moment remain underlying themes in her endeavors.

“My primary challenge is to teach students the importance of investigation—to become disciplined and independent critical thinkers with the confidence to express themselves in a meaningful manner and with the skillsets to achieve it,” she says.

Photo by Xavier Montsalvatje

Recently, she has been focusing on realizing her long-term project Great Guns, an unusual, immersive installation, begun during her residency at Kohler Arts, which called it “one of the most ambitious projects attempted in our 43-year history.” The goal is to construct a large ship-like installation featuring two huge, ghostly white naval cannons, using mirrors to reflect them in an infinite gun-deck that will viscerally illustrate the scene of dexterity between men and machine in close quarters.

Her next step is to build the large architectural space needed to hold the 54 created parts together. Christy has looked to the USS Constitution, a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy, named by President George Washington, as an inspiration in recreating the structure of a fighting ship. “The USS Constitution was the most famous of the first Six Frigates in America’s Navy, which revolutionized naval warfare by creating a new ‘class’ of fighting ship, which proved successful in maintaining this new country’s independence,” she says. “Imagine entering an environment — the gundeck of a war ship at the apex of the ‘Age of Sail.’ It has low ceilings and structural beams you must duck under, cannon line both sides, dominating the small space. Naval cannons, known as ‘great guns,’ are huge, 10-foot long, violently bucking, scalding-hot war machines, operated under a team of choreographed men, with the threat of fire, guns breaking loose or falling over, and of being shot or hit with giant splinters from explosions.”

Photo Courtesy: John Michael Kohler Art Center

Part of Georg’s artistic philosophy is to face logistical challenges head-on and in stride, knowing perseverance and endurance will help her to achieve her ambitious goals. “Danger (existentially of death, as well as physical pain) implicit in experiencing the scene is palpable — a powerful, full-body realization. In my rendering, I acknowledge its past-tense delicately and with reverence — all in ghostly white, with the stillness and silence of vacancy. The viewer is beheld in a ghostly white gun deck battery of infinite length, disappearing into both horizons, a curious and powerful experience!”

To learn more about the process of creating Great Guns, click here.

To read a Q & A with the artist by ArtSake, click here.

Photo Courtesy: John Michael Kohler Art Center

Banner Credit:  Photo Courtesy: John Michael Kohler Art Center, 2016

Christy Georg earned her BFA at Kansas City Art Institute and her MFA at Massachusetts College of Art. She has participated in numerous residencies, including The MacDowell Colony, the Roswell Artist-in-Residency Program, the Fine Arts Work Center, Kohler Arts Center’s Arts/Industry Program and The Arctic Circle artist and scientist residency program. She has received recognition for her sculptural work from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the University of Rhode Island, the Mellon Foundation, and the Leighton International Artists Exchange Program.

Her solo exhibitions include the Contemporary Artists Center in North Adams, the Roswell Museum, Gettysburg College, University of Massachusetts at Lowell, the Trustman Gallery at Simmons College in Boston, and the Khyber Institute of Contemporary Art in Halifax. Recently, her retrospective exhibit “20 Years” was hosted by the Gardiner Gallery at Oklahoma State University and most recently her retrospective “20 Years” at the Gardiner Gallery at Oklahoma State University and in the “Alcoves” series at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe.

Visit the artist’s website.