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Archive for Friday, August 8, 2008

Artist hungry for adventure in Asia

August 8, 2008

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Traci Furan was just in New York City in May, helping change an art exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum.

Today, she's moving the exhibit to Beijing for the Olympics.

Furan, a Lawrence resident, artist and owner of Little Bluestem Baby, is also a contracted registrar for the Guggenheim's traveling retrospective on Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang.

"I'm super excited to have this opportunity," she said. "I'm an adventurous eater. I'm really looking forward to trying out the street vendors."

As a registrar, Furan documented the condition of several of Cai's pieces when they left New York. She'll need to make sure everything is up to snuff when they arrive at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing as well.

"I basically oversee the safety and proper handling of the pieces," she said. "It's my job to protect the artwork."

From huge pieces of handmade paper decorated with gunpowder residue to massive sculptures, Furan said the installation of the exhibit is expected to take up to two weeks' worth of 14-hour days.

Three registrars, along with more than a dozen art handlers, will handle the installation.

Although Furan won't get to spend any time watching the athletic events, she said she was hopeful she would at least be able to see some of the architecture built specifically for the Olympics.

Cai's retrospective isn't the only involvement the artist has in the Olympics this summer.

The artist, who splits his time between homes in and New York, sits on the creative planning committee for the opening and closing ceremonies for this year's Olympics.

For the 10 days Furan will have free while the exhibit is up in Beijing, Furan said she plans on traveling around Asia, including a trip to Thailand.

The retrospective will be in China from Aug. 19 to Sept. 2. From there it will go to the Guggenheim Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain, and Furan will be there, too.

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