“It’s a wild, wacky shorthand invention with movable parts,” Callahan said.
Between teaching Screen Printing, Print Making and Artist’s Books at SUNY Oneonta, Callahan said she spent 35 hours per week for eight months, using trial and error all the while, to build the sculpture which, she said, features a hand generator and lights. The piece, which was made of pine and stained to look like antique cherry wood, also features many little moving gears and dials that were found at antique shops or junk stores, Callahan said.
“I researched hand generators and movable mechanisms to see how they work, so that I could include them in the piece,” Callahan said, “I also had to learn more about wood working.”
Callahan’s first piece in the inventive series came as an imagined creation from a lexicographer’s (someone who writes dictionaries) dream. The next piece she hopes to create will be based on the imaginary dreams of an early educator and the differences in teaching boys and girls back then, she said.
According to the release, the first and second place winners were Central New York women, as well. First place winner was Gail Hoffman of Syracuse and second place went to Melissa Zarem of Ithaca.
Along with her award, Callahan won a check for $500 which, she said, she will use to buy more parts for future sculptures.
“I really enjoyed showing people how it works and demonstrating the generator and lights,” Callahan said. “I want to continue to make art that is interactive.”
The ‘Made in New York’ exhibition will be open through May 25, 2014.