Happy Hanukkah! 8 Nights, 8 Windows, a project of CJP and the New Center for Arts & Culture, is celebrating the holiday by taking a page from department store holiday window displays by installing eight works of art in eight windows throughout the city this week. We’ll be featuring interviews with some of the artists over the next few weeks. First up are Christian Meade and Nathaniel Wyrick, whose installation, “Halfway through the Dark,” is on display at the West End Museum. The artists will be on hand for a talk about their work on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m.
For those who can’t make it to your installation, can you explain how it’s going to work over the course of the holiday?
Nathaniel: Hopefully everyone will be able to make it over to the West End Museum to see our installation at some point during the week. Through the course of Hanukkah the installation will be in a state of change. The installation is a view of a house or apartment interior, like part of a living room. The scene will gradually be illuminated, not by conventional light sources, but by other objects in the room.
How did you get involved with the 8 Nights, 8 Windows project?
Nathaniel: I saw the call for entries on a friend’s Facebook page. I thought it would be a great opportunity for Christian and I to collaborate on a project, so we met up for breakfast to brainstorm ideas and concepts, and here we are!
Both of you are graduates of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Is this your first collaboration together?
Christian: Yep. We were roommates for a year in graduate school, and we’ve critiqued each other’s individual work throughout our graduate experience, but we never really worked on a project together. Nathan thought it would be a perfect project to combine our art practices. We have similar aesthetic tastes, and we love old objects that have had a chance to live in the world a bit. Nathan’s performances have elements of installation, and my installations have notes of performance in them, so it seemed like a good fit.
Finally, what are each of your favorite parts of the holiday season?
Christian: For me, it’s the family togetherness. Every year my extended family gathers at my grandmother’s house in Delaware to give gifts, watch holiday movies and eat a bunch of good food. My Grandmom is Italian, so there’s lots of good food! But all of that is secondary to just being in a comfortable place surrounded by my family and the memories of all the previous holidays that took place in the house.
Nathaniel: My favorite part of the holiday season is the opportunity to spend time with friends, family and chosen family. There are times when it’s hard to gather a large group of people at the same time, but the holidays really tend to bring people together. I love to cook and host, so it’s a great occasion to make food for people to enjoy as we play games, exchange gifts and just spend time with one another.
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