Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the opening of WAKE, a public art installation by Mel Chin, on May 21st, 2022. This large-scale sculpture rises from the property at 407 North Liberty Street in Victoria.
An opening reception with the artist was held from 5:30-8:30pm May 21st, and the sculpture is on view daily from 10am-6pm until early autumn 2022.
WAKE is modeled on the structural ribs of the nineteenth-century clipper ship, the USS Nightingale. The ribs rise from the ground and frame a 21-foot-tall figurative sculpture. The carved sculpture, derived from a figurehead from the prow of the Nightingale, represents the opera singer Jenny Lind. Subtle animatronic motions allow her to slowly breathe and scan the sky adds a contemporary upgrade.
Lind, known as “The Swedish Nightingale,” was the first international “superstar” to tour America in the 1850’s. Her tour was a spectacle orchestrated by P.T. Barnum and is considered one of the first examples of mass marketing.
Wake forms a quiet space for the public to consider the past and future. According to Chin, “the Nightingale crystallizes the ways in which the expanding economies of the past are prologue to our current societal and environmental dilemmas,”
Chin is widely known for his large-scale public art installations. WAKE was originally installed in Times Square in New York in 2018. It has also been displayed in Asheville, North Carolina. Wake was developed in a collaboration led by Chin and was engineered and fabricated at the University of North Carolina at Asheville’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math (STEAM) Studio by artists, students, and faculty members. The Victoria installation is an extension of that collaboration and includes staff from Five Points Museum of Contemporary Art.
Mel Chin and Five Points Museum founder Ann Harithas originally began discussing installing this work in 2021 as a public component of his recent exhibit at Five Points Museum, Mel Chin: Points of View. This installation is installed as a tribute to her long history of creative contributions to Texas and Victoria.
WAKE will be on view daily from 10am to 6pm. The installation is located at 407 N. Liberty, at the intersection of Liberty and Power.