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On May 13th, 1999, the Eli Whitney Museum will open an exhibition of small works created for the fifth annual Leonardo Challenge.
Designers, artists, architects, educators, and engineers make of common materials (this year straws) uncommon expressions. this work helps define design as a way of thinking: a fundamental mission of the Museum’s teaching.
The exhibition demonstrates the breadth and significance of design as an economic activity in the New Haven region.
The May 13th Premiere will support the Museum’s Design Arts curriculum for schools and underwrites workshops for very young designers.
Leonardo sees through surface. He sees the channels, conduits, and capillaries that structure and animate the flower, the insect, the city the body, the earth. Leonardo sees a universal web of connections.
Consider the simple straw. It can be flimsy and ephemeral or an element of a powerful structure. It can fill or drain. It can mean empty or full. It can be a skin or a bone. It can be tangible vein or an artery of inference.
Leonardo builds with surface. The folds of a gown, the canopy of the parachute, the stretch of a wing, the fabric of a festival tent…these skins sculpt complex structures.
The carton connects to the straw in our memories of school lunch architecture and as archetype of the infinite expression the inventive mind can construct of paper.
We will send you some straws and a flattened milk
carton. You may use all, fewer, or add more of your own
for your construction. The container may be part of the piece or you may choose not to use it. It may be used in any form.
- Add materials as you wish.
- The completed work must fit within a 15 x 15 inch footprint. The height is unrestricted.
- Return your finished design to the Eli Whitney Museum by Friday, May 7th. We hope to be able to film these pieces before the event for airing as a preview. Only those works in by this date will be filmed.
Return the entry form to request materials. For a $25 entry
fee, you will receive two tickets to the May 13th event, a 1999 Leonardo Challenge T-shirt, and more importantly, partnership in this creative educational effort.
Should you choose to donate the work to the Museum to be bid upon the night of the opening, you help to sponsor
students who otherwise could not afford to make use of the Museum’s creative outlet.