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InteractiveExperience

Ranch Reflectionsan Art & Light Exhibition

Seeking something spectacular to launch Lakewood Ranch’s 30th anniversary of community development, event planners turned to Sarasota Fla.-based projection mapping artist Dave Gordon and Elln Hagney to create a dynamic, immersive week-long projection mapped outdoor exhibit. Each night, January 14 – 22, 2024, visitors will stroll throughout the Florida community’s Waterside Place town center, from 6:30 PM to 10 PM, exploring the dazzling exhibit titled “Ranch Reflections: An Art and Light Exhibition.”

In creating the exhibit the artists strive to tell 

Art Locations, (click the map below) 

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1. Dave Gordon & Elln Hagney

Pearl 30th Celebration

Located on the corner of Lakefront Dr and Island Cover Terrace

In this captivating artistic endeavor, pearls seamlessly merge with celebratory imagery to pay homage to Lakewood Ranch's 30th anniversary. The artwork serves as a vibrant celebration, capturing the essence of the Joie de vivre lifestyle experienced by the community. Each element within the creation reflects the joyous spirit and communal vitality that have characterized the past three decades of Lakewood Ranch's existence. The intertwining of pearls with celebratory symbolism not only marks the passage of time but also symbolizes the precious moments shared by the community, creating a visual ode to the lively and dynamic essence of life at Waterside Place.

2. Elln Hagney & Dave Gordon

Circus

Located just  North of Kilwins 

One for the kids, Circus is a celebration of the lasting impact that the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey's Circus had on the Sarasota and Manatee Counties region. Having been the home of this iconic American company for 146 years, the circus left an indelible mark on the area. While the circus may no longer be touring, Lakewood Ranch has become a haven for a diverse community of circus performers. Within the boundaries of this community, a unique mix of individuals, from acrobats to animal trainers have found a new home. While just outside the communities boundaries, a wide array of other circus animal alumni live including, Giraffes, Tigers, Sharks, Lions, Seals and others. 

3. Elln Hagney & Dave Gordon

Lake Water

Located just South of Kilwins

 

At the heart of life in Lakewood Ranch lies the intricate network of natural and manmade lakes that weave through the community. These bodies of water play a pivotal role in shaping the local ecosystem, serving as vital habitats for a diverse array of creatures. From native fish species to waterfowl and amphibians, the lakes provide a thriving environment that supports a delicate balance of flora and fauna. When visiting these lakes, the artists find solace in the serene beauty where the rhythmic dance of aquatic life and the soothing sounds of nature create a unique and harmonious connection between the community and its natural surroundings. Lake Water aims to replicate, for the viewer, the serene beauty and emotional connection the artists experience with the water.

4. Elln Hagney & Dave Gordon

Acres

Located at Kore 

 

In "Acres," the artist delves into the multifaceted exploration of Lakewood Ranch's 31,000 acres, unraveling its geological, biological, historical, and cultural evolution throughout time. Commencing with a conceptual representation of the pre-earth era, the artwork unfolds a chronological journey, tracing the land's metamorphosis from ancient epochs to the present day. Through this temporal odyssey, the artist skillfully examines the intricate relationship between the land and its inhabitants, past and present, unveiling the dynamic interplay between the evolving landscape and the diverse array of creatures that have, and continue to, engage with it.Acres serves as a visual narrative, inviting viewers to contemplate the profound interconnectedness of geological processes, biological evolution, historical narratives, and cultural imprints on this expansive canvas of natural and human history.

5. Dave Gordon & Elln Hagney

Pop Celebration

Located at the Pavillion

 

Crafted to showcase the playful side of life in Lakewood Ranch, this composition is a colorful celebration of life. It also nods to the community's history and culture. For example, there are shells that pay homage to the past shell mining activities that unfolded across the community, ultimately giving rise to a myriad of lakes, including the well-known Lake Uihlein. Additionally, the presence of palm trees serves as a symbolic reflection of the palms adorning each meticulously constructed home. Through this infusion of lively visuals, the narrative endeavors to encapsulate the spirit of Lakewood Ranch, evoking a sense of joy and deep appreciation for the diverse elements that have collectively shaped this dynamic and spirited community.

6. Dave Gordon & Elln Hagney

The Explorer, the Promoter, and the Owners

Locatioed Just south of the Brewery ( on rainy nights inside the Pavilion

 

This collection of living portraits based on historical images, featuring Hernando de Soto, John Ringling, and two of the Uihlein brothers (original owners of Lakewood Ranch), aims to humanize these influential figures often perceived as would-be kings. Through aggressive exploration and entrepreneurship, each man left an indelible mark on the landscape and culture, shaping present-day Florida and Lakewood Ranch. Undeniably, these figures were controversial and bigger than life.  Nevertheless, each man, like all of us,  had a rich tapestry of emotions and relationships. In these humorous portraits the artist tried to imagine each man experiencing a lighter moment. 

 

7. Elln Hagney & Dave Gordon

Night Reflections on Fauna

Located on the Bridge

 

In Night Reflections on Fauna, the artist delves into our connection with local wildlife, offering a vibrant celebration of the diverse creatures inhabiting the prairies, pine hammocks, and lakeside areas of Lakewood Ranch. By strategically placing the artwork on a man-made lake, Hagney prompts viewers to contemplate the transformation of the landscape, urging them to reflect on the natural habitat that once existed where the artificial reservoir now lies. This poignant installation encourages an awareness of the delicate balance between human intervention and the ecosystems that thrived in the region, especially during tranquil nights when the reflections cast upon the water serve as a reminder of the harmonious coexistence between development, nature, and the creatures that once roamed freely.

 

8. Elln Hagney & Dave Gordon

Kaleidoscope Rhopalocera

Located at Osteria 500

 

"Kaleidoscope Rhopalocera" orchestrates a captivating transformation, uniting the essence of eight regional butterflies – the Monarch, Black Swallowtail, Orange-Barred Sulphur, Common Buckeye, American Lady, White Peacock, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, and Red-Spotted Purple – into a singular, magnificent butterfly. Constructing the physical form through a composite of images from each species, the artist then breathes dynamic life into the creation with kaleidoscopic patterns generated from the same photographs. These patterns, in constant motion, grace the butterfly's structure with ephemeral beauty, echoing the fleeting existence of these insects. The piece serves as a poignant recognition of the transitory nature of their lives and the enduring allure they contribute to the natural world, inviting viewers to appreciate the delicate yet captivating dance of these winged wonders.
 

 

9. Elln Hagney & Dave Gordon

Thirty Years of LWR

Located in the Circle North and to the West of Ostaria 500

Composited from photographs and film footage taken in and around the community

This artwork focuses on the people of modern Lakewood Ranch and the lifestyle the community provides. 

Artist Statements

Enlightened Monkey Arts is a collaborative endeavor fueled by the creative synergy of Dave Gordon and Elln Hagney, two distinct and skilled artists. For this exhibit at Waterside Place, each artist assumed the lead in crafting unique projection-mapped artworks, yet no piece stands as the exclusive creation of either. Dave and Elln bring diverse skills and perspectives to the artistic table, a fusion that results in a collaborative process that births artworks of unparalleled richness and depth. Their belief in the transformative power of combining talents underscores their commitment to producing art that transcends the boundaries of individual creativity.

 

Artist statement for Elln

Elln Hagney: My artistic journey originates in childhood visiting museums; there, I developed a profound fascination for crafting immersive environments that transcend reality. Combining storytelling with tangible spaces, I've mastered the art of creating experiences that inspire, educate, and offer escapism. With a background in museum administration, I've refined my skills in developing interpretive experiences, exhibits, and tours. The integration of projection mapping into my repertoire extends the possibilities for crafting transformative moments. Each artwork is a purposeful blend of spectacle and profound depth, aiming to capture attention, evoke immediate emotions, and unravel richer meanings, untold stories, and hidden symbols over time. For Ranch Reflections, Dave and I have focused our storytelling on the rich geological, biological and cultural history of the region.  While each piece stands on its own, it is my hope that the exhibit works as a mosaic and truly conveys the diverse tapestry of life that have lived, worked, and survived on this 33,000 acres of land.

 

Artist statement for Dave:

I am Dave Gordon, a groundbreaking new media and tech artist, utilizing cutting-edge technology to achieve artistic feats once deemed impossible. My work is deeply rooted in collage and found object assemblage, drawing inspiration from my extensive experience in photography, animation, sculpture, and electronically mediated interactivity. I challenge the notion of relying solely on spectacle and novelty in projection-mapped artwork, emphasizing the importance of depth and enduring interest beyond technological novelty. This philosophy propels my pioneering efforts with micro projectors, as I reject the traditionally grandiose nature of projection mapping in favor of an intimate approach. For Ranch Reflections, Elln and I craft site-specific artworks in varying scales that function both independently and harmoniously, aiming to evoke an experience that is simultaneously awe-inspiring and thought-provoking.

 



 

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