Working as a public artist means saying yes to challenging opportunities. Last summer, Hartford Art School sophomore Jackie Flock received an invitation to design a light installation for downtown Hartford's Riverfront Recapture, an organization that aims to revitalize the neighborhoods fringing the Connecticut River.
"I had to learn Mosaic Design [a lighting production software]," Jackie says. "I'm glad I learned it, and now I want to learn more."
Jackie is currently working towards choosing her major, and plans to take computer science classes over the summer to complement her interest in new media. She finds the Hartford Art School faculty to be supportive in her exploratory approach, and found a mentor in Ricardo Reyes, curator and director of the Edith Dale Monson Gallery, including the Joseloff and Silpe galleries.
In the months before her public debut, Jackie met with Ricardo and he answered many of her questions about the software. She then learned the technical skills required to manifest her vision, inspired by the multimedia artist James Turrell.
"James Turrell uses light, space, and very saturated colors," says Jackie. "There's a magenta, orange, and yellow piece of his that inspired me a lot when I started this piece. His work is interactive."
Jackie Flock, '21
"I like the idea of being able to walk through a piece of work, through a space. I started using different saturations of colors and playing with how they blend into each other, projecting that onto the canopy at the Riverfront Recapture site."
The display resonated with audiences downtown, including the leaders of Riverfront Recapture. She has already been invited to produce more light shows this coming summer, and looks forward to finding new ways to intertwine fine arts, technology, and community impact.
"The next step I want to take is to do something with the Hartt School," she says. "I'm excited to learn how to use stage lighting and spotlights for theater settings, and how to program huge productions."