GREENSBORO — London-based artist Ian Berry, who creates artwork solely from denim, has created a video art installation to be displayed tonight in LeBauer Park.
The display will begin around sunset, which is expected to be at 8:12 p.m., above the Great Lawn in the downtown park at 208 N. Davie St.
The piece is a 24-second series of denim collages that resemble hands clapping to inspire those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who worked on its front lines.
"This art piece has been shown in other areas around the world," said Rob Overman, Greensboro Downtown Parks executive director. "It’s really unique that it has landed in Greensboro."
Although there is a chance of rain, the display would continue to run on a loop for at least two hours in light rain, Overman said. Heavy rain could postpone it.
Organizers ask that anyone viewing the piece in person maintain proper social distancing because of the pandemic.
Overman doesn't expect viewers to linger for long periods.
"It's intended for folks to pause and take a look, enjoy it and keep moving," Overman said.
The piece was inspired by the nightly clapping that has taken place in recent weeks to show support for workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
Evan Morrison, owner of Hudson's Hill, has stepped up to manufacture desperately-needed PPE gear. Morrison helped to connect the artist to Cheryl Stewart of the Community Foundation’s Public Art Endowment and Action Greensboro’s Cecelia Thompson.
Together, they worked to scout locations to display the piece and landed in LeBauer Park.
Berry re-uses jeans, jackets, and other denim clothing to create portraits, landscapes and other works.
The piece will be shown in conjunction with "Light the Night," a community-wide celebration of UNCG and N.C. A&T graduates.
Friday and Saturday nights, Greensboro’s downtown buildings will light up in blue and gold to celebrate graduates from both schools.
“What’s so unique about this piece are the multiple threads which tie it to Greensboro," Overman said in a news release.
"The denim collage is a nod to our rich textile history, the international artist was connected to our community through Hudson’s Hill, and its first display will occur in conjunction with a salute to our local graduates,” Overman said. “This project couldn’t have come at a better time as we work to lift the spirits of our community and reassert that better times lie ahead.”
Organizers hope to display the piece in other locations throughout downtown, as a way to show continued appreciation of front-line workers in the coming weeks.