Interactive sculpture exhibit planned at Dublin Arts Council
Kinetic energy is part of the art that will be on display at the Dublin Arts Council Tuesday, March 5, through April 19.
The exhibition, "Robert Mullins: Kinetic Sculpture," is a first for the Columbus artist even though his work can be seen throughout central Ohio.
Mullins wasn't searching for a gallery to display his work that's usually seen outside; the connection came about from a former DAC board member.
"He's a friend of a former board member," said DAC Executive Director David Guion. "That's how we were introduced.
"They both worked on some projects together. Robert brought in some maquettes of his work so we could see on a smaller scale how the kinetics worked."
Mullins, who started Wind Kinetics Institute Inc., designs and constructs signs, metal furnishings and sculptures.
The sculptures use wind for power and include the North Star sculpture that can be seen off Interstate 71 near Polaris Parkway. Mullins also has sculptures in Dublin at the BMI building and off Metro Place South.
The exhibition will include new pieces and models of work around Columbus.
"I think it's going to be a fun exhibition," Mullins said.
"It will transcend a lot of the philosophical stuff people are used to with art," he said.
"It's whimsical and fun and the kinetic stuff is interesting for most people."
Most art Mullins creates is on a large scale. Making pieces to be displayed at the DAC gallery has been a new challenge.
"I found making these little pieces are almost as difficult," he said.
"The amount of detail that goes in them and the precision in the ball bearings and counter weights to make them work on that scale is almost like watch making."
Creating wind for Mullins' kinetic sculptures has been something the DAC has never had to contend with before.
"This is an experiment for us," Guion said. "We haven't had kinetic sculptures in the space before ... . It will be a challenge, but with light and air movement we'll be able to create a dazzling display."
"This has evolved as we prepared it," Mullins said.
"The whole exhibit will be interactive which means you will be able to walk up to the pieces on pedestals and push a button to activate little fans that will blow on these kinetic sculptures," he said.
"It's a fun exhibit. Every piece will move."
To get ready for the March 5 opening, Mullins has been working furiously for the past 13 months to get the aluminum and steel structures ready.
Working with metal has been part of his life for many years, even before Mullins went to college to be a teacher and changed his major to fine arts.
"My first job when I was 16 was working in a metal and wood pattern shop ... . It was a machine shop," Mullins said.
"I was already exposed to building things in that type of media," he said. "I worked there throughout college."
The metal work of Mullins is expected to draw a mixed crowd.
"He does work in industrial design," Guion said. "This is sort of his first foray into a gallery experience.
"I think it will be interesting for people in the design business as well as the art business because I think it melds the two," Guion said.
"Robert Mullins: Kinetic Sculpture" will be on view at the Dublin Arts Council, 7125 Riverside Drive, March 5-April 19. The exhibition will open March 5 with a reception with the artist from 6 to 8 p.m.
The exhibition and opening are free and open to the public.
The exhibition can be viewed 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays.
For more information, look online at dublinarts.org.