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Schweinfurth Artwork Middle unveils public artwork set up in Skaneateles – syracuse.com

Skaneateles, N.Y. — The Schweinfurth Art Center will have an outdoor opening reception Saturday for its newest public art installation, “Sweeping Statement,” a soft sculpture by Binghamton artist Anna Warfield that will be on display through Nov. 28.

The reception is 1 to 3 p.m. at the sculpture, located at East Lake Road and Pork Street in the town of Skaneateles. A gravel parking lot is available at the location.

“This project began as a necessary response to the changing art landscape as a result of COVID-19,” Warfield said. “With my own discomfort engaging with art in interior spaces, I wanted to adapt my practice to present my work in a safe and accessible manner.”

Her piece consists of letters made of water-resistant nylon with an additional layer of water resistant coating and stuffed with Poly-fil that spell out sweeping statement. The letters are suspended on cables between posts, allowing them to seemingly float. “It’s not intended to exist forever outdoors, but it was certainly made with Upstate New York’s ever changing weather at the forefront of my mind,” she said.

The text was chosen by Warfield to complement the landscape, and the meaning of her work is open to interpretation by the viewer. “For me, it’s about the creation of conversations which can go multiple directions but all originate from the same place,” she said.

Warfield’s artwork focuses on words because, as a woman, she often felt her words were interrupted and disregarded. “Working with text was my response to that feeling,” she said. “It’s my way of forcing the attention and conversation in a space toward my ideas and what I have to say.”

Equally as important to her is working with fabric. “In working with fiber, I am consciously engaging with what has been historically considered ‘women’s work’ and embracing it as an art form,” Warfield said. “I see this as a celebration of a medium that has fought for a place in the art world.”

Jessica Danial, an art collector and advisor who is president of the Board of Trustees for the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, was happy to provide a location for Warfield’s artwork. “Anna needed a stage, I had a field, so why not use open (unused) spaces and beautify them with public art while also using it to challenge the passerby with Anna’s thoughtful artwork?” Danial said.

She said this is the first time she has hosted a public art exhibit on her property, but it likely won’t be the last. “The arts force people to think differently,” Danial said. “Not everyone will come away with the same reaction to Anna’s work. I subscribe to the belief that the arts provide the foundation for lifelong learning, creativity and critical thinking.”

If you go …

WHAT: Sweeping Statement, a public art installation

WHO: Artist Anna Warfield

WHERE: At Port Street and East Lake Road in the town of Skaneateles; a gravel parking lot is located near the piece

WHEN: Daytime hours from Oct. 17 through Nov. 28

OPENING: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at the exhibit

COST: Free

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