TAB What sparked your interest in creating the space?
MM I understood that these summer exhibitions were specifically for children so I proposed a fairy tale themed exhibition. As an elementary school teacher and mother of a four year old, much of my world today revolves around children and I love fairy tales; for children and adults! I'm a huge fan of Wes Anderson, David Lynch and Guillermo del Toro; artists who allow you to envelope yourself in another world, not just look at it from the outside. I wanted to create that Alice in Wonderland or Totoro type of experience of falling through a rabbit hole and finding yourself in a magical world.
TAB How has the response been from viewers?
MM The exhibition was designed for kids and kids LOVE IT!
TAB Any challenges during the installation?
MM Yes, the size of the space was my biggest challenge. It's over 2500 square feet with 26 foot ceilings. This space feels 10 times the size of galleries like eye lounge and Five15 in Phoenix. It needs a lot of “stuff” to feel full. I had a lot of help though; from the amazing crew at Scottsdale Public Art, from studio assistants and from the library staff too!
MM I’m a space hog so I know this exhibition could continue to grow. The fairy tale theme is classic and lends itself to a lot more arts related programming. Really it's limitless.
TAB Do you have plans for a future, maybe permanent, installation of it somewhere?
MM Right now it's not scheduled to travel but I would LOVE to find a permanent home for the exhibition or pieces of it. I'd love to see it permanently at a children's museum or library. I've also thought about making pieces of it available for private purchase. For example the little cottage could be an amazing playhouse in someone's yard. And other cottages/ playhouses could be designed and built too. The bean bag snails would be awesome in front of the TV on movie night and the mushrooms could be modified to make really cute stools.
Forest Floor runs through August 31, 2015 at The Gallery @ The Scottsdale Civic Center Library in Scottsdale. There are several events scheduled during the exhibition including a closing reception, The Forest Floor Fabulous Fairy Tale Ball to be held on August 29th in the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Atrium. For more information on all the events being held during the exhibition including free workshops visit: www.ScottsdalePublicArt.org/Events.