On what weather forecasters say is looking like a very stormy Earth Day in Dallas, Mother Earth is calling to us. Yes, through potentially crazy storms, but also through a new public art installation at Main Street Garden.
Jeremy McKane, a Dallas-based photographer, installed his photograph in the form of what can best be described as a giant weather-proof sticker on the side of the cafe in the garden Wednesday morning to celebrate Earth Day.
The photograph depicts Dawn Neufeld as Mother Earth reaching out to viewers, but is framed as if the audience were looking through a peep-hole camera. The photograph was shot underwater in The Joule Hotel’s clear pool so that Dallas would be in the background.
"We enjoy working with local artists, particularly when they are in interested in showing downtown's urban landscape in such a unique and creative way," said Justin Fields, general manager of The Joule. "We were happy to play a part in Jeremy's vision. There's no shot quite like this one."
McKane said the work aims to make passersby stop and think about conservation.
"It is one thing to take really pretty pictures, but it is another to make people think," he said.
McKane said he is not promoting any specific conservation group through the project, but would rather have individuals to find a local, national or international organization that they feel comfortable supporting.
This is McKane’s first public art installation.
“I’m a lousy painter,” he said. “No one would ever allow me to paint a public space in their right mind.”
He saw creating a seamless public art installation of a photograph as a challenge. For the Main Street Garden piece, he partnered with his long-time local printer Damon Daniels, of Artizen Studios. The pair printed the photograph on a weather resistant material that is essentially a giant fine-art sticker. It is now affixed to the Main Street side of the cafe in the garden so the installation will be in clear view of both pedestrians and street traffic.
The installation was facilitated by Downtown Dallas Inc., which manages Main Street Garden among other downtown gardens. Shalissa Colwell, the organization’s marketing director, said they heard McKane was looking for a public space to share this particular photograph with the public in and they reached out to him.
“Creating vibrant streets and public spaces is one of our cornerstones,” Colwell said about the partnership.
McKane originally planned to keep the installation for a few days surrounding Earth Day, but after encouragement from Downtown Dallas Inc., has agreed to keep the photograph installed through May 22.