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Photo by Steve Sartori
station

When visual artist Jennifer Marsh G’08 set out in May 2007 to cover a vacant Syracuse gas station and its moribund pumps with fabric panels, she had two goals in mind: draw attention to world dependency on oil, and collaborate with people to create a truly public piece of art. To spark interest and gather panels for the World Reclamation Art Project (WRAP), as she dubbed it, Marsh relied on technologies old and new: word of mouth, a web site (www.internationalfibercollaborative.com), e-mail, workshops at local schools, presentations, media interviews, and advertising. In a matter of days this spring, after months of collecting, stitching, and dealing with bureaucratic paperwork, she put the finishing touches on the 5,000-square-foot WRAP, which required 65,600 yards of upholstery thread, 600 yards of canvas backing, and 10 gallons of water repellant. All told, Marsh received contributions from 2,570 students, 450 artists, 50 organizations, and 17 schools and universities, representing 15 countries and 29 states. The panels—stitched, crocheted, knitted, collaged, et al—proved as unique as their creators. “I felt there was a way to connect the use of fiber materials to a contemporary political issue to create social awareness,” says Marsh, who earned an M.F.A. degree in sculpture from the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “That’s why the gas station seemed like a perfect fit.”

 

 

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