If you love life’s myriad vibrant shades of color or are a puzzle aficionado you want to know Carrie McKnelly because she’s a master at combining the two. As a result, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to see her work at bridgegallery on the city’s lower east side of Manhattan beginning August 26.
Carrie graduted from Jacksonville, Florida ’s public high school of the arts – Douglas Anderson – continued her
education at Pratt Institute in New York where she majored in architecture. The two play crucial roles in her background, and today she finds herself as the designer for 30’ long and 4’ wide exhibit on which she and others from SOFTlabs, Inc., are working.
Composed of 4,416 paper panels, this amazing project will fill a gallery with radiance – each with its own graduated color piece. Each 3”x5” panel is unique, the entire project will be held together with approximately 17,500 binder clips and the project will “cost” about 300 hours from concept to install. If you’re interested in sponsoring a panel, it will even contain your name and be mailed to you once the exhibit is dismantled.
In between her 12-hour workdays and prep for the exhibit Carrie took time to explain its genesis, her role and what she sees as the benefits of public art.
Meet Carrie and the CHROMAtex.me exhibit.
Q: Tell us why projects of this nature are important.
A: They prove that crazy ideas are possible! These type of projects are also full of color which, I think, makes people happy. We tend to forget the feelings provoked by simplicity.
Q: What is YOUR part in the project?
A: I am managing the project. I helped create the form and am also responsible for generating the color. After the computer model was complete, I guess you can say I have been making sure everyone does their part correctly! There are a lot of steps. The color needs to be laid out in the computer, printed, laser cut, then assembled.
Q: How do you use any high school skills in your current work?
A: There is always a basic understanding of math involved, but the main thing that makes this happen is team work and a good attitude. If we [the team] are not able to work together, putting together a project of this size in such a short amount of time could not be done. You learn many of these skills in high school.
Q: Educate us about how the project was named.
A: The first part – CHROMAtex plays off of our last install, which was called CHROMAestheiae. It dealt with colored surface. Our first thought was to call the current work CHROMAcortex but we thought it sounded “too brainy.” The cool thing about the word cortex is that it is actually a “surface that contains.” So, we stole the ” tex ” part and added .me at the end as a way to brand the project and as a way to say the installation also belongs to all of our backers.
Q: How is your background in architecture beneficial?
A: It is a great tool because it taught me to think of interior spaces in a new way and to think through the experience of a space. Many times we do not notice what is around us.
Q: For fun, you like to…
A: . . . ride my bike, experience the city (whether eating shopping or wandering), and work!
Q: What impact does family have on your life?
A: My family is the most important! They are always there for me and support anything I choose to do. In fact, my mom is coming up for the show!
Q: How does faith affect what you do and who you are as an individual, friend, worker, etc?
A: I think the best thing I can say is that it has aided me in having a good attitude. With the stressed involved in such a production, the key ingredient is good attitude and passion.
Q: What are your next personal and professional projects?
A: Professionally, I believe we have an installation scheduled for Germany in November! Personally, I would love to go back to school in a year or two for a masters degree.
To see a video explaining the project, its assembly and how you can participate:
and google maps: www.chromatex.me