NEW ENGLAND PUBLIC ARTISTS LAY THE GROUNDWORK FOR OTHER REGIONAL ARTISTS TO FOLLOW
As the garage door to Susan Champeny’s workshop studio opened, it revealed the test version of her “Snow Saucer Lady Bug” sculpture now on display in Washington, D.C., along with a portion of her “Laundry Bottle Totems” and two Hornbeck Boats Adirondack-style canoes used to install her “ReinCARnation” hubcap lily pads in a pond along Atlanta’s BeltLine Rail Trail in 2012 and neighboring Elm Park in Worcester, Mass. in 2013.
There’s also her secondhand drill press, sharpening stone, three tool boxes filled with yard sale and estate sale finds, 10 cases of fasteners, “weird objects I don’t know what to do with” and the “table saw of death,” so named because her father used to flinch when he saw her use it to cut non-traditional materials.
“It’s kind of a mess because I’m finishing several projects at once,” said Champeny, who’s working on 2015 proposals for Art in the Park Worcester as well as BeltLine Atlanta, which calls for bench designs ideally to be built with materials local to the Atlanta area — which is why she’s accumulating hard plastic Coca-Cola soda crates.
She’s not sure how realistic it is to create benches that’ll last, since even the hardiest of benches tend to be vandalized. “It needs to be weatherand people-proof,” Champeny said.