When you think of artistic raw material, things like pens, paper, paintbrushes and canvases come to mind. Lisa Hoke thinks a little differently. Her raw material includes flattened Captain Crunch boxes, Kirin beer cartons and Pokemon cards. The stuff you toss is the stuff of Hoke's art.
The artist creates her massive, color-saturated assemblages from discarded everyday consumer materials, including cardboard boxes, household, office and food product packaging. Hoke's site-specific installations have been exhibited at museums and art spaces all over the country— critically acclaimed art made from ephemeral rubbish. Her media is your mess. You might say, her mind is in the trash.
Now she's looking for more. It's all part of Hoke's participation in Sarasota Museum of Art's 2014 ARTmuse program, which runs from Jan. 15 through Feb. 4. For her Sarasota project, the artist will create a site-specific installation inside the historic Sarasota High School — the future home of the Sarasota Museum of Art (SMOA). Wendy Surkis, the organization's president, notes that, "The public will have ample opportunities to view the artist at work — and watch her creation unfold and evolve." Surkis invites area residents to help create the installation by donating their discarded cereal boxes, paper goods boxes, produce boxes, office supply boxes, shoe boxes, liquor boxes and more. She adds that, “It’s most important that the boxes be colorful, not ripped or crinkled. No plastic, please."
Hoke, based in New York City, sorts salvaged packages by color, then forms items into roughly four-foot collages and integrates them into huge works that are designed for the particular space and environment. “Castaway treasures become my tools for expression of beauty,” says Hoke. “My room-sized collages are derived from cardboard and paper packaging, reflecting the amazing unappreciated properties of colorful disposable consumer products.” She adds that she enjoys the challenge and stress of working big. “My new installation for SMOA will continue my exploration of color and form in large-scale works.”
Surkis notes that, “Last year's ARTmuse project with Patrick Dougherty was a triumph. I think this will be another one. We’re thrilled to offer our community another artistic transformation using unusual material to stretch their imaginations thanks to this remarkable artist.” She adds that, "Hoke’s work is all about transformation. The magic of her art turns discarded, reused materials into works of color and beauty. I think it's symbolic of the work that SMOA is doing to re-purpose the historic Sarasota High School into a dynamic arts destination for innovative, contemporary visual art.”
According to Surkis, serendipity plays an important role for Hoke — and will for the community as they observe the three-week installation process. “You can plan all you want,” says Surkis. “But a creation of this nature is never exactly what you envisioned. Hoke’s installations unfold organically. Each completed piece is always a delightful surprise to the artist and the public as well. We invite the community to watch the process.”
Package drop-off days are October 19, November 9 and December 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the historic Sarasota High School, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. ARTmuse is also seeking docents for this project. To inquire about docent training, Call (941) 309-7662 to inquire about docent training.
For more information about Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA, visit www.SarasotaMuseumOfArt.org, or call Wendy G. Surkis at (941) 309-7662.