The Amherst Public Art Commission is pleased to announce the opening of Interstitial Zigzags by Amherst artist Benjamin Cowdan. It is the Commission’s inaugural exhibition at the new Portal Gallery on Boltwood Plaza, located in the headhouse (the small building) above the town parking garage. The opening will be held Friday, September 10, from 6-7 p.m. in the Boltwood Plaza at Boltwood Walk.
The artworks are kinetic and interactive. “People will be able to play with my sculptures through the glass,” Cowdan says. Viewers can make noise or shine light from their cell phones to activate the sculptures, some of which are also affected by other factors including the weather. As Cowden describes, “People will be able to play with my sculptures through the glass.” Viewers can clap or shine light from their cell phones to activate the sculptures in each window.
Cowdan began his career as a sculptor when, as an undergraduate anthropology student in Cameroon, he learned from local Baka people how to turn worn machetes into utility knives. Over the years he has produced a variety of objects, from hand tools to large sculptural installations. He is a voracious student of craft technique and enjoys creating with almost any material, whether it is sewing clothes, building furniture, or constructing Arduino-based robotic cocktail-mixing machines.
The opening will feature a live performance by the Roving Corsairs, a local band of “musical pirates” who perform traditional sea shanties, Celtic folk music and original tunes while dressed in pirate garb.
Interstitial Zigzags is supported by the Amherst Center Cultural District with funds from a recovery and rebuilding grant, allocated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. It is slated to run through November 2021.
For more information contact William Kaizen, Chair of the Amherst Public Art Commission: firstname.lastname@example.org