DePauw's billboard project unveiled

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Motorists traveling along U.S. 40 just outside of Greencastle are seeing an outdoor art installation commissioned by DePauw University and created by Cuban-American artist Felipe Dulzaides.

"Felipe Dulzaides: A Billboard Project" will remain on view through November 19.

Dulzaides, a Cuban-born artist who currently resides in San Francisco, was commissioned by DePauw to create two billboards, which are located on U.S. 40, one-half mile west of U.S. 231 South, just outside of Greencastle.

The imagery on the billboards explores the real and metaphorical borders that separate the United States and Cuba, and directly reflect the theme of the 2008 DePauw ArtsFest, a campus-wide celebration of the creative, visual and performing arts: "Art and Borders."

The double-sided billboard features images taken of -- and from -- Varadero Beach, the northernmost point of the island of Cuba and, therefore, the closest point from Cuba to the United States.

The project , titled "All That We've Been Missing," features an image of Varadero Beach and the Atlantic Ocean on the west-facing side, while the east-facing side of the billboard features an image of the jet stream of an airplane traveling to the United States (Miami).

The images on the billboards are intended to highlight several things, including Dulzaides's bi- and multicultural life, his history and experience as an artist and a Cuban-American; the fragmentation and distortion of information about Cuba that reaches the United States; and notions of isolation and migration. Through this project, Dulzaides hopes to stimulate a subtle, aesthetic experience for viewers by subverting the billboard's assumed intention and focusing on the viewer's immediate reality

Felipe Dulzaides was born in Cuba in 1965 to a family of musicians and poets. His work spans installation, video, photography and public art. He earned a BFA in theater from the Instituto Superior de Arte de la Havana (1989), and an M.F.A. in new genres from the San Francisco Art Institute (2001).

His work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Centro Cultural de Espaņa in Havana, Cuba; REDCAT, Los Angeles; and the Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, Germany, among others. He was selected to participate in the 2008 Gwanju Biennale in South Korea, and is the recipient of a Cintas Fellowship (2001) and received a Creative Work Fund award (2004-05).

He is currently based in San Francisco, where he is a visiting faculty member in the new genres department of the San Francsico Art Institute.

The billboards will be installed through Nov. 19, a period of time concurrent with ArtsFest 2008, DePauw's annual celebration of the arts that showcases the creative and performing talents of members of the DePauw community and visiting artists.

Celebrating its sixth year, "ArtsFest 2008: Art & Borders" will include art that explores the intensifying global debate over the parameters of national, cultural and intellectual identities.

ArtsFest 2008 opens on Oct. 30 and continues through Nov. 9.

Events will include concerts, theatre performances, art exhibitions, readings, films and lectures.

A solo exhibition of Dulzaides's work, "Felipe Dulzaides: Nothing Happens, Twice," will take place at the Richard E. Peeler Art Center from Oct. 8 through Nov. 9. An opening reception and artist talk are schedule for Oct. 8, from 4-6 p.m. at the Peeler Art Center.

The galleries at the Richard E. Peeler Art Center are open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sunday 1 -- 5 p.m., and are closed during university breaks and holidays.

For more information, visit the galleries online or contact Kaytie Johnson, director and curator of University Galleries, Museums and Collections, at

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  • Thank you DePauw, for bringing art out into the community!

    -- Posted by Maeve04 on Fri, Oct 3, 2008, at 8:07 PM
  • bondsman, you do a very good job of making yourself sound like an uneducated simpleton nutcase with zero credibility.

    -- Posted by nativeillinoisan on Sun, Oct 5, 2008, at 4:34 PM
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