Christo has authorized a team led by All Arts Council project lead, Vermont artist and water expert Parker Vogt, to do a series of United States environmental projects starting this year. Replay the Bay, their first project, will be unveiled with joint receptions in Highgate Springs and Alburg Springs tomorrow. They have covered the entire surface of Missisquoi Bay with a double layer of floating panels of woven polypropylene fabric. The top layer is the white of winter snow and the underlayer is a rippling, iridescent, blue-green.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude created environmental works of art. Their Stacked Oil Barrels and Dockside Packages in 1961 was their first collaboration; they installed rolls of paper, oil barrels, tarpaulin, and rope for two weeks in Cologne Harbor.
This will not be the first floating work. In 1983, they surrounded eleven of the islands of Miami's Biscayne Bay with 6.5 million square feet of floating pink woven polypropylene fabric. The pink covered the surface of the water and extending out from each island into the bay. Their other works include wrapping the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris, The Gates in Central Park, and Running Fence, the 24-mile-long piece in Sonoma and Marin counties in California.
The environmental art projects will include our covered bay, river walks, a 4-mile sieve, a giant ocean scoop, and will culminate with The Locks of the Everglades: 10,000 vinyl gates, with free-flowing fabric panels sewn from sugar bags are to be anchored to 20,000 southern yellow pine bases along 37 miles of the Tamiami Trail on the northern border of Everglades National Park. That "art with a message" will underscore the water management issues in that treasured land.
"The frozen Missisquoi Bay made this the easiest of our projects to implement," Ms. Vogt said. "We just unrolled and unrolled and unrolled on the ice until we covered the world!"
Monday, as the ice went out on Missisquoi Bay, Ms. Vogt's team of 800 volunteers pulled the white cover back to shore all along the entire shoreline to expose the undulating blue-green surface. The Channel 15 Air Force filmed the "uncoverage" and then returned for Tuesday's winds and 2-1/2 foot waves. The first cut will be shown on the big screen set up at the Highgate Springs Access Area and the final program will air on Channel 15 on May 1.
The receptions will feature the artists, the Lake Champlain Friends Association, a legislative delegation, and dubstep performances by Grammy winner Skrillex in Highgate and by Skream & Benga in Alburg. Both receptions start at 2 p.m. Admission is free but you must have a ticket.
The Replay the Bay exhibit and receptions are free but you must have a reception ticket to attend those events. Tickets are now available at ticketmaster.allarts.org. Admission will be FREE. Proceeds will benefit local art projects in Franklin County.
The art project highlights an environmental hazard in our Bay.
"Mayday! Mayday!" Titania Rainville Smith said. "Missisquoi Bay is sinking in slime and we need to fix it." The recipient of the 2016 EPA Environmental Merit Award and of the National Medal of Science, Ms. Smith resides on Hog Island and is a member of the Lake Champlain Friends Association.
Each summer, an increasing volume of blue-green, soupy slime coats the water and rocks of Missisquoi Bay. Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can be lethal to pets and often hazardous to human health. The Vermont Department of Health posts these safety guidelines:
"Avoid contact with paint-like scums. Keep children and pets out of water that even looks suspect."
At the end of the art project, the blue-green panels will be symbolically dragged through the Bay's restricted outlet at the Alburg bridge and causeway.
The water will be "green" until the first of May.
Click here for a prospectus, schedules and other background materials, and more info.
Editor's note: Check the date. Rest assured that nothing blue or green sullied Missisquoi Bay and you have been fooled. Oh. Wait ...
NO ACTUAL ARTISTS NOR MUSICIANS NOR WRITERS
WERE INVOLVED IN THE
STAGING OF THIS FESTIVAL
(we're not too too sure about the painters)