It started out as an experiment. How could Michael John Heagerty create an homage to artist Ji Lee, as well as manufacture a happening that transcends art and becomes a part of the bigger picture?
Answer: plant umbrellas.
Last summer, as co-owner of Wildflowers Armory (217 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, New York 13202), Heagerty collaborated to install a series of umbrellas in the nook next to the gallery’s former location. The event, called #colorfulcanopysyr invited patrons to visit and share their photographs on social networks, which led to a “Best Selfie Spot” award from local media.
The umbrellas lend color to otherwise dreary spaces, according to the artist, as follows:
Red is a very emotionally intense color. It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure & appetite.
Red represents COURAGE.
Pink is intuitive and insightful, showing tenderness and kindness with its empathy and sensitivity.
Pink represents HOPE.
Yellow is the most luminous of all the colors of the spectrum. It’s the color that captures our attention more than any other color. It’s the color of happiness, and optimism, of enlightenment and creativity, sunshine and spring. Yellow represents HAPPINESS.
Burgundy, named for the French region of wine-making, shows unconventional thinking, a desire for being unique and self expression. It can increase your energy, like red.
Burgundy represents COMFORT.
The umbrella configurations have visited several locations in the past few days. They have spent twenty-four hours each at Onondaga Park, Woodland Reservoir, Onondaga Creekwalk, Thornden Park and their present location, Willow Bay at Onondaga Lake Parkway (3858 Long Branch Road, Liverpool, New York 13090).
They are planted in the ground (curved handles removed), and to honor our current life circumstances, they are pointing towards hospitals or engaging in the six-feet-apart modality.
For the next phase, the future installments will last forty-eight hours in duration. This for those who adhere to an every-other-day walk-about, as we further distance ourselves while allowing the medical epidemic to dissipate. The installations will continue as phantom pop-ups to sustain the idea’s magic.
Heagerty is a fan of the artist Christo who, along with his wife Jeanne-Claude, created large-scale temporary installations for the purpose of fulfilling a happiness and joy credo or art for art’s sake, in addition to making the invisibility of common-place landscapes visible via “immediate aesthetic impact”.
It is this purpose Michael John Heagerty aligns with most. This is his love-letter to Syracuse, New York, suggesting that we WILL get through this mayhem with courage, hope, happiness and comfort, and above all, a caring, creative-arts zest for life. <3
***all other photographs not tagged are used with permission courtesy of the artist
7 thoughts on “Umbrella Man”
Great article! I enjoyed reading the story behind the photos. MJH is a treasure in our community!
Yes! Thank you, Tracey <3 - there are so many layers to the project. Michael is the best. I agree with the Syracuse treasure comment. He really is one in a million.
Thanks for the background information. I enjoyed the article and photos!
Thank you, Julie! I messaged Michael last night and asked if I could write about his activities – he was all for it; gave me the background info, and I was blown away by the thoughtfulness of the entire production. It is very special, indeed. <3
What a great project and a wonderful article. I hope that we can get to see it at some point. Michael is a treasure.
thanks, Judy! <3
To know Michael is to love him…
A special, caring, lovable human being.