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Prof. Marianne Desmarais solo work on exhibit

gather, a solo show of new work by Marianne Desmarais, Professor of Practice and Director of Undergraduate Architecture, will be on display Summer 2020. Desmarais' work will be on display July 11-Aug. 2 with an opening from 6-9 p.m. on July 11 at Staple Goods, 1340 St. Roch Avenue, in New Orleans. The show is created with support from the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans, Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York, and Tulane School of Architecture.

Artist statement:

My work engages material and structural behavior to explore the relationships between parts in a system or an assemblage. In response to a curiosity, I develop a rule-set that leads through process to patterns, complexity, and the emergence of new formal properties. This evolution of operations reveals a shifting space between the flat and the dimensional, between liquid and solid states, and between layered moments in time.

In recent work, air-filled packing materials and plastic containers are the starting point for an examination of the logics and breakdown of material culture. Familiar and ubiquitous, these discards have pillowed the objects of our desire in protective isolation and then are expected to simply disappear. Designed for specific function and single use, these anti-forms are proliferating, their accumulation littering the ground and filling the sea. Fabricated of ever thinner plastic, they are paradoxical empty space-fillers engineered to be full yet weightless.

Through a strategy of encapsulation, I am shifting attention to these anti-forms by altering relationships to gravity, time, and perception. Reversing their solid/void relationship renders a shape that is both specific and indistinct. We know the primary object, it can be seen and touched, but the slippery forms of its packaging are curious, exaggerated, liminal. I am interested in this perceptual whole that oscillates between closeness and flows to expansiveness.

Using a synthetic rubber coating I am sequestering plastic detritus before it accumulates in trash heaps and waterways. Working with a material that changes state, from viscous liquid to flexible solid, produces a fluidity in the work that yields expansive surface and open forms.

As each sculpture is produced, its leavings and traces are collected and pushed forward into the next piece; nothing is discarded. Marks catalog the reality of each physical transformation then transfer subliminal characteristics to the intervening surface.

Marianne Desmarais named Joan Mitchell Center 2019 Artist-in-Residence

Tulane Architecture faculty Marianne Desmarais has been named an Artist-in-Residence by the Joan Mitchell Foundation for 2019. Desmarais, who also serves as Director of Undergraduate Architecture programs, is one of thirty-two artists who have been awarded residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center in the historic Faubourg Treme neighborhood of New Orleans. All of the artists will be provided with private studio space, a stipend, food, lodging, and opportunities to participate in programs that engage with other creatives and the local community.

Desmarais said she's honored and looking forward to the Joan Mitchell Center residency because of the connections it will bring to the art community in New Orleans and a larger network across the country. "I relish the connections and conversations that come with immersive experiences," Desmarais said.

A residency, she said, changes not only an artist's work but the artist themselves. "The experience of an art residency feels simultaneously like time sped up and time slowed down," Desmarais said. "Ideas form rapidly in response to focus and duration, and this intensity leads to making, outside of typical distractions and pressures."

Before the center opened in 2015, the foundation first began hosting artists in temporary residency spaces in New Orleans in 2013. Over the years, nearly two hundred artists have been invited to participate in the program.

"The Artist-in-Residence program is a beautiful melding of the foundation’s ongoing commitment to the New Orleans community and artist Joan Mitchell’s own history of opening her home in Vétheuil, France to artists," said the foundation’s CEO, Christa Blatchford. “It brings her life and vision into the present, in a community that is so incredibly rich with history and creative energy. At the same time, the center serves as a physical manifestation of one of the core values that drive our grant-giving and resource-oriented programs: to support artists in the process of making.”

Read more about the announcement here.

Summer fellows wade through regional water issues

Water is a defining feature of life in south Louisiana, presenting both urgent threats and unique opportunities.

This summer, five Tulane School of Architecture students explored how communities are shaped by water during the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design’s 2018 Public Interest Design Fellowship.

Fellows spent eight weeks dissecting what it means to live with water, adapt to an uncertain future and work together with a focus on balancing water’s positive and negative traits.

Their efforts centered on two project areas – graphic advocacy and tactical urbanism.

To understand water management on a local level, fellows met with numerous water-related nonprofits, government agencies, NGO’s and collaboratives working in education, infrastructure and environmental protection.

Finding this network of organizations to be extremely complex, the group took on a project to breakdown the “Who, What and Why” of water management in New Orleans. The resulting index of players will serve as the base for a future New Orleans water management web piece graphic advocacy piece.

Expanding their research further, the fellows visited 24 sites across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

“It's one thing to read about or look at pictures of these places, but to get to walk around and see the physical impact of a policy or project adds a completely new level of understanding to these complex issues,” said Dana Elliot, a fellow and graduate architecture student.

Back in the studio, the fellows explored tactical urbanism, the process of using temporary, low-cost and scalable projects to test street design changes (Tactical Urbanist’s Guide).

In partnership with Bike Easy NOLA and the Urban Conservancy, the students designed a demonstration rain garden as part of a pop-up installation to slow traffic at the intersection of Mirabeau and Elysian Fields avenues. Their garden site proposal integrated a bike lane and coordinated with new road paint at cross walks to promote traffic safety, green infrastructure and urban place-making.

Small Center staff Sue Mobley and Rashidah Williams, and School of Architecture professor Marianne Desmarais guided the fellowship. The work was made possible through support from Morris Adjmi and Associates, the Sizeler Family and Eskew+Dumez+ Ripple.

Professor Marianne Desmarais appointed Taylor Faculty Fellow

The Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking recently announced Tulane School of Architecture Professor of Practice Marianne Desmarais as a 2018 Taylor Faculty Fellow.

Faculty Fellows are Tulane professors who have developed a relationship with Taylor and expressed an interest in the center’s work. They represent a range of academic disciplines spanning the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences.

Read more on the appointment here.

Professor of Practice Marianne Desmarais opens new exhibit, samples + patches

The latest exhibition from Tulane University School of Architecture Professor of Practice Marianne Desmarais (A '95), samples + patches, reveals balance is a state between equal and opposing forces. The collection of wall sculptures opens Jan. 11 at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans.

Techniques from architectural practice are applied in composite textiles made of linen and wood that attempt to alter space through the manipulation of form, optics and surface. Utilizing manual and digital modes of production, resistance and collapse are explored as themes of structural response. Her work moves off the surface of the gallery walls to approach the viewer physically, to push and pull space.

Where one material is rigid, the other is soft. In combination, these qualities result in emergent forms and fluid composition. Desmarais continually pairs these contrasts to express the stillness present when tension is produced by gravity and resisted or encouraged by inscribed hinge points.

samples + patches is open from Jan. 11-April 1, with an opening event on Jan. 11 from 6-9 p.m.

2016 Silver Circle Sculpture | Marianne Desmarais

The Contemporary Arts Center is pleased to present the 2016–17 Silver Circle Sculpture by Marianne Desmarais, Glyphic Figure. Created exclusively for upper-level CAC Members, this limited sculptural edition of 65 was digitally fabricated with water jet and laser etching techniques. In this piece, the act of scratching the surface propels the work through shifting optic volumes to suggest a symbolic object occupying 2D and 3D space simultaneously.

Marianne Desmarais joins previous Silver Circle sculpture artists Brian St. Cyr; Dawn DeDeaux; Jeff Becker; Jennifer Odem; John T. Scott (posthumous); Generic Art Solutions (G.A.S.); John Barnes, Jr.; Srdjan Loncar; Elizabeth Shannon; Stephen Paul Day; MaPô Kinnord-Payton; Mary Jane Parker; Martin Payton; Jeffrey Cook; Allison Stewart; Clifton Webb; Mitchell Gaudet; George Dunbar; Gene Koss; Winifred Ross; Christopher Maier; Arthur Silverman; Bernard Mattox; John T. Scott; Mignon Faget; and Lin Emery.

ANARCHITECTURE AT THE CAC

Art work by Adjunct Lecturer Marianne Desmarais has been included in “A Building With A View”: Experiments in Anarchitecture, an exhibition commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Contemporary Art Center here in New Orleans. 

The opening reception begins at 5:30pm on White Linen Night, Saturday, August 6, 2016 and the show runs through Saturday, October 1, 2016

Event Details: http://cacno.org/exhibitions/abuildingwithaview

Image Info: Open Pyramids, porcelain (detail). 2016.

Marianne Desmarais Receives Malcolm Heard Award for Excellence in Teaching

Congratulations to Adjunct Lecturer Marianne Desmarais RA, LEED AP BD+C, for receiving the Malcolm Heard Award for Excellence in Teaching. Professor Desmarais was selected by Tulane School of Architecture's Class of 2016 for her dedicated and tireless commitment to the student body.

 

arcblocs playdate with community partner

Homer A. Plessy Community School hosted 2 archblocs building sessions last week. 11 Tulane School of Architecture students unveiled the archblocs sets to 40 Pre-k students. Great fun was had by all ! Keep an eye open for the next arcblocs drive the last weekend of March. We have set a goal to send all 40 students home with arcblocs for the summer.

arcblocs

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