Grace by Lucy Slivinski

Grace by Lucy Slivinski ©LCVA

Grace by Lucy Slivinski

Lucy Slivinski (Chicago, IL)
Grace, 2006

steel with automobile taillights
Installed Spring 2006

Lucy Slivinski worked tirelessly on site at Longwood for nearly two weeks to create her latest sculpture, Grace. The large-scale tree form constructed from steel and automobile taillights is located between Jarman and the new science building.

Well known nationally for her sculptures that combine recycled elements to create naturalistic forms, Slivinski used salvaged angle iron frames welded together to form a “tree trunk” for Grace. She completed the tree form with limbs made of a woven wire mesh constructed by weaving and welding steel 3/8”-1/4” wire and salvaged automobile taillights. During the course of the day the ever-changing natural light illuminates the translucent red taillights, giving the piece color and intensity. Slivinski intends for the work to inspire a dialogue amongst the campus community about “nature verses industry.” Slivinski states, “The contrast produced by using discarded industrial materials in an organic form such as a tree conjures many questions. Does nature support industry? Does industry support nature?”

Margaret Hawkins, an art critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, wrote about Slivinski, “The potential beauty of junk has become an axiom in art, and its worth is doubled when we add in the value of recycling. Lucy Slivinski is one of these artists who uses industrial material, at least some of which has been thrown away, to create objects which appear oddly natural. . . . She means to draw a parallel between the choppy progress of our society and its more graceful counterpart in nature. While an insect leaves behind a beautifully fitted shell that soon turns to dust, factories throw off heaps of rusty metal. Slivinski finds her industrial materials lovely, though, and through her eyes so can we.”

Lucy Slivinski received her master of fine arts degree in fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) and her bachelor of fine arts from Northern Illinois University (Dekalb, Illinois). Her work has been exhibited at Navy Pier, Grant Park, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Field Museum in Chicago as well as at Albion College (Michigan), Beloit College (Wisconsin), San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Illinois State Museum, among many others. She is represented by Phyllis Kind Gallery (New York, New York).