In March, Instructor in Art Terri Moore visited Keystone Academy in Beijing, China, as artist-in-residence. She was commissioned by Keystone to create a permanent art installation in the school's Performing Arts Center. In addition to installing the piece, titled "Suspended Iceberg," Moore gave the closing keynote presentation about her art and its relationship to climate change awareness and creative thinking as part of the 2018 Round Square Regional Conference: "Dare to be a Force of Nature." Malcolm McKenzie, former Hotchkiss head of school from 2006 to 2013, is Keystone Academy's inaugural head of school.
Icebergs are the primary focus of Moore's recent work, often executed on a small scale in the medium of watercolor on Yupo paper, a 100-percent recyclable, synthetic paper. However, for the Keystone commission, Moore chose to use acrylic paint and designer inks on Yupo paper on a monumental scale. The finished piece, 30 feet long and made of 15 Yupo paper panels, is suspended from the Performing Arts Center ceiling. Individual panels are 40 inches wide and range from eight to 27 feet long. The varied lengths of the suspended paper sections create a shifting perspective as the viewer moves below the work in the lobby, alongside the work while climbing stairs, and above the piece while standing on the second level balcony. At the balcony level, the viewer can observe the organic shapes made by the paint: deep blues and greens, transparent films, solid forms, fissures, trapped air bubbles, and holes that represent the ice. Together, these details are meant to convey an iceberg in transition. "Icebergs," Moore describes, are "witness to and evidence of an evolving and changing ecosystem."
Moore's installation is intended to allow viewers to, in her own words, "experience the idea that these floating monoliths are simultaneously intimate and monumental." Interacting with the installation on such a grand scale makes viewers more aware of climate change. In her Round Square keynote address, Moore asked her listeners to consider how an artist affects change,stressing the notion that failure is not defeat — whether in the face of a daunting challenge like climate change, or a smaller dilemma, such as an art composition — and the key to creative problem solving is to "think like an artist: be open to exploration and embrace failure; it will allow you to learn without fear. Artists are historians, inventors, problem solvers, and creators. Navigating something that moves you is about getting to the heart of the story, and that takes time and focus."
During her week-long residency, Moore met with Beijing-based Hotchkiss alumni and current parents. She also worked closely with Keystone Academy upper level and advanced art students, critiquing work, advising final thesis projects, and evaluating portfolios. A Keystone senior interviewed Moore for the school's Education Salon, excerpts of which can be read here.