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RIT on TV News: 1-Innovation Center Art

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Published on Apr 7, 2009

13WHAM-TV provides a sneak preview inside Rochester Institute of Technology's new Student Innovation Center and the unique glass treatment created by artist Nancy Gong. (first of 3 segments)

Anchor: Holly Maynard is at RIT today with glass artist Nancy Gong. Good morning, Holly. I see you've got your hard hat on. Safety first.
Holly: Safety first because this is a work in progress here at RIT. Norma, I know you know Nancy Gong because you have done some of the broadcast with her. She's done so much public art in our area. She's done so much here in Rochester the past 30 years. This is her latest project, a work in progress right now, I think maybe 90% done or so, here at RIT's Innovation Center. This morning, Norma, we are going to see her work come alive because she is working on it this morning. Hey, Nancy!
Nancy: Hey, Holly how are you?
Holly: I'm fine, thanks. What are you doing right now?
Nancy: Well, I'm cleaning this glue off. It was applied to an etched surface, and when it dries it curls up like mud on a construction site and it takes the glass off. So this shiny stuff is part of the glass that's breaking off into this really beautiful texture.
Holly: So you're here at RIT at their new Innovation Center. What is this project and why is it so special to you?
Nancy: Well, the title of the piece is "In Art, Science, in Lies What is the Question," and it's all about science and technology have to do with all of the (eight) schools here at Rochester Institute of Technology. It's the administration building, and students when they come in for services they need from administration- having questions about housing, whatever, they come into this building to speak with somebody and they set them all up. On this other side, when the season begins, they might have over a thousand students waiting to see someone. So on this side they'll have all kinds of science and high-tech things going on. There will be a big video screen with all kinds of technology on this side in the lobby, and that side will be more of a gather place, and they might have exhibits, expositions and some special events.
Holly: So thousands of people are going to be walking by your work every single day.
Nancy: Absolutely.
Holly: You mentioned to me that this scale of this piece of art is really unique to you as well.
Nancy: It's exciting because normally I'll do an opening that's maybe six foot wide and maybe a couple of doors and things spread throughout a building, but this is the first that is all one huge, huge opening. And when we came in here to check on how things were going before the glass came out, I came out to meet the glazer from Rochester Glass, and I said, 'Oh, my God, do we have enough glass for this?' He said, 'There's 13 pieces of glass, so yes.' One day, I was driving out here, it was so funny, I was behind a tractor trailer and it had 53 feet on it, and I'm driving behind it going, '53 feet. My wall is 54 feet, does that include the cab or is that just the tractor.' [laughter] So it was pretty funny.
Holly: So here it is, Norma, and coming up later this morning, we're going to talk about the concepts behind Nancy's design here because she really put a lot of thought into each and every section and really relating it to RIT and it's students. So here artwork is coming alive this morning, Norma.
Anchor: She truly is an artist, and that sound makes me so nervous when I heard you talking, I thought, 'Oh, my goodness, is that the glass behind Nancy or what is that? There is that process she has to go through.
Nancy: It's like popcorn.
Holly: It is like popcorn, yeah. Thanks Norma.
Anchor: Thank you, Holly.

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