Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell – NO WAKE
The Bridge is excited to announce Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell as our 2015/2016 Public Artist.
The Public Artist program is The Bridge’s annual artist-in-residence program. It provides financial, logistical, and organizational support for an artist to make a significant work of art that impacts the Charlottesville community. In doing so, The Bridge positions the arts as a catalyst for innovative economic, social, and cultural possibilities.
During Jennifer’s term as Public Artist, she will realize a large scale site-specific multimedia performance and film project called NO WAKE, loosely based on her 2014 play of the same name. NO WAKE explores the connection between personal and environmental denial and responsibility. Referencing Homer’s Odyssey, NO WAKE is a mythic story of a widow whose grief is so enormous that she tries to abandon her child, and ends up causing a storm that tears their house from shore. As mother and child are cast adrift, they are faced with a series of challenges in order to survive. The play engages themes of responsibility, the paralysis of grief, the extent of denial, the challenge of empathy, creation & destruction, and our relationships with the other.
To create NO WAKE, Jennifer will be working in collaboration with some of the region’s most talented and innovative artists, who will blend their work with that of community members. The NO WAKE project encompasses four aspects:
1) A multimedia outdoor performance and dance installation, produced by and featuring local professional artists, which will take place at the upper portion of the IX Art Park Thursdays through Saturdays March 17-April 16 beginning at 7pm.
2) The dance installation piece will feature a brigade of young dancers known as the Water Bearers comprising over 30 middle-school aged girls, and is being created in collaboration with residents of Friendship Court, with rehearsals at the Friendship Court Community Center. The Water Bearers will perform from roughly 7pm to 8pm as part of each NO WAKE performance.
3) Jennifer is working with art students at Walker Upper Elementary School and engineering students at Buford Middle School to create a massive monster puppet made from recycled plastic water bottles that will be used in the performances of NO WAKE.
4) The Messages in Bottles installation, which will include anonymous messages crafted by middle-school and older children, including students at the Blue Ridge Juvenile Detention Center, either in response to prompts relating to the themes of NO WAKE, or according to their inspiration. The messages will be placed in glass bottles, and these will be displayed in various locations, including small businesses around the community. The installation’s purpose is for the community to have a chance to hear the thoughts and feelings of this segment of our community and for the students to practice identifying their values and describing their memories.
Local artists Allyson Mellberg Taylor & Jeremy Taylor, Lisa Eller, Ted Coffey, Martha Mendenhall, Siân Richards, Thadd McQuade, Marianne Kubik, Aaron Farrington & Stephen Thomas, Dinah Gray, Deandra Irving, Sydney Wynn, Jennifer Downey, LaTrina Candia, and Miller Murray Susen will be collaborating on the project. Learn more about them on our Artist’s Spotlight page.
To volunteer or learn more about NO WAKE, contact Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell at firstname.lastname@example.org