The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

John M. Anderson Endowed Lecture Series Presents George Ferrandi Lecture and Workshop

George Ferrandi

American artist George Ferrandi is currently working with communities around the country to develop an intergalactic cultural festival called JUMP!STAR. Its inaugural iteration has been awarded an NEA Our Town grant and will launch in Kansas in 2019. Ferrandi will be teaching a two-week workshop at Penn State School of Visual Arts, October 17–27, building one of the 11 large-scale illuminated paper sculptures that will commemorate the eventual polestars. Her lecture, an introduction to the workshop, titled “Introducing Jump!Star: an intergalactic social sculpture” will take place Tuesday, October 17, 2017, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Palmer Lipcon Auditorium, Palmer Museum of Art. 

It is a little known fact that the North Star that was overhead when the pyramids were built is not the same star as our current one, Polaris. In about a thousand years, a completely different star will be due north. Due to a slight wobble in the Earth's rotation, the pole star position is not fixed. Our "guiding light" changes. Isn't this amazing? And poetically beautiful? We are really curious how a transition would be marked and celebrated here on earth. And, we are planning that party now!

JUMP!STAR is that celebration. George Ferrandi is working with communities around the country to invent the traditions—a thousand years in advance—that can be shared through generations to celebrate the transitioning of the North Star.

As part of the workshop, Ferrandi will be bringing "Constellate #3 (Sculpture and Narrative)" to Penn State, where she will demonstrate wire handling and fabrication techniques used in the amazing Nebuta festivals of Aomori in Northern Japan.

Ferrandi is an American artist whose performance, installation, and participatory projects address issues of vulnerability, impermanence, fallibility, and spectacle, often through experimental approaches to narrative. Employing a unique humor and a deep sense of humanity, her work stimulates a rethinking of cultural assumptions. George's work has been performed or exhibited at the International House of Japan in Tokyo, Abrons Arts Center in New York, the Kitchen in New York, Cinders Gallery in Brooklyn, Sleuce Art Fair in London, the McKinney Contemporary in Dallas, the Wexner Center in Columbus, the Harn Museum in Gainesville, Florida, and Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. She has been awarded grants from the Franklin Furnace Fundwinners for Performance Art, the Mid Atlantic Arts Council, Pratt Institute, and in 2015 she was an NEA-funded Fellow with the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission. George is the director of Wayfarers Studio Program and Gallery in Bushwick, and was the founding member of the touring performance project Cloud Seeding: Circus of the Performative Object. George teaches sculpture and performance art periodically at Pratt Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Rhode Island School of Design. She also runs a small business specializing in the restoration of statues of saints for churches.

To sign up for the workshop, or with questions, email Anderson Lecture Series Coordinator Sidney Mullis at: sidmullis@gmail.com