The Sharon Arts Center is pleased to announce they have reached the $10,000 goal set up on Kickstarter.com to “Bring Jimmy Back”–Jimmy being renowned cardboard sculptor extraordinaire James Grashow, who five years ago created one of the most memorable exhibits in Sharon Arts history.
“We are elated,” said new Executive Director Keri Wiederspahn, who organized the Kickstarter campaign. “When Jimmy comes to Sharon Arts in the Spring, he will be creating a collaborative installation called The Garden of the Imagination, which will directly involve about 100 or more children and widely impact at least 700 children in area schools who will come to see it, not to mention hundreds of parents, teachers, and people from all over the Monadnock region and beyond. There will be larger-than-life 3-D fantasy plants, flowers, and insects–both real and mythical–and it should be spectacular, to say the least.”
Wiederspahn, an artist herself, decided last fall to experiment with the Kickstarter fund raising idea, since arts organizations nationally have been faced with dwindling finances from the usual channels of private donations and arts council grants.
“We are so grateful for the incredible support from the community,” she said, “Many people remembered the amazing exhibit Jimmy created in 2006 and wanted this to happen again. And others came on board after seeing our posts on Facebook and elsewhere–even people we didn’t know helped after finding us on Kickstarter. We’re also deeply appreciative of the major contribution from the Bean Family Foundation, along with help from Peterborough’s Children and the Arts Festival. I think doing something like this out in the open instead of behind closed doors truly engages the community in a different way and makes them a part of the whole event–it adds an element of fun as well as a sense of real participation and ownership.”
Aquarium of the Imagination, James Grashow, Sharon Arts Center 2006
All donors, she said, will be receiving updates about the project as well as the “perks” offered at various contribution levels and a special invitation to a fundraising gala with Grashow in the spring.
Born in Brooklyn in 1942, Grashow has been creating works that address themes of man, nature and mortality since the 1960s. The scale of his work ranges from large environmental installations, though which the viewer traverses, to the delicate and contained world of his houseplants, where homes and buildings replace flowers and buds in intricately constructed bouquets. In addition to his cardboard creations, Grashow is also a well-known woodcut artist whose prints have appeared regularly in the New York Times and in virtually every well known periodical and publication throughout the country. He is a graduate of the Pratt Institute, where he received a BFA and was awarded a Fulbright Travel Grant for painting and graphics. After a year studying in Florence, Italy, he returned to Pratt to receive his MFA. Currently Grashow lives and works in Connecticut with his wife. They have two children and five grandchildren.