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The Actual Art Foundation founded in 1982, by Valerie Monroe Shakespeare 1944-2011 & a consortium of patrons dedicated to art & the ideals of working with nature, instead of fighting it. The Foundation was formed to promote & encourage the support and development of Actual Art and to educate, assist and instruct the public toward awareness of this important genre of art which is related to environmental issues by the unique way the art works with nature in a positive mind set. To this end, Actual Art Foundation has curated & sponsored art exhibitions in Princeton, New Jersey, New Fairfield & Hartford, Connecticut; Regensburg, Germany; and the City Gallery,  New York City
      501c-3 tax-exempt foundation

"Actual Art" is a genre initiated by Tery Fugate-Wilcox, who discovered the other artists working in the philosophy of enlisting nature to complete works they have only started . Tery Fugate-Wilcox, along with Valerie Monroe Shakespeare, introduced the artists to each other, supported  & championed their work, eventually opening an art gallery to represent...

  ACTUALIST ART............Historically, visual art is categorized as referential or non-referential & has bounced around the two categories for centuries, sometimes straddling or stretching them, including conceptual & performance art, but never escaping altogether. Some art tries to be a reflection of the "times we live in", the most obvious of statements. All are fundamentally virtual, attempting to freeze a moment in time. Such art has historical value but is excruciatingly limited in an age striving to understand the complex interrelationships of a universe ruled by change. Actualist Art, a third, inclusive genre finds its essence in the actuality of its instrumentation.
      Artists traditionally conform materials to an idea. The statement is conceived, a suitable medium sought and constrained to the statement. No more thought is given to the physical life in the art except in false terms such as archival or permanent. If time is part of the artist's palette, then the actual materials become part of the statement in a concrete, physical way. Using time as a tool imbues vitality, as the art responds to the changes its materials experience in the real world. Art becomes the living object it is and change turns from “deterioration” or “decay” into a positive force. Since all materials change, time, (essential to Actual Art) is the enemy of conventional art. Conservators fight a losing battle against the "ravages of time". Even in sealed isolation, deprived of light and oxygen, materials will find a way to change. Future generations are relegated to peering through glass at shadows of once great art, or "masterpieces" recreated by hands of nameless “restorers”.  When artists embrace the changes that will naturally occur in their materials, even programming those changes into the art, what future generations see is as important as what we see now. Asked, “How long will it last?” The Actualist Artist replies, “It lasts forever, as long as you understand, it changes.” Instead of fighting nature, in a doomed effort to remain static, “Art Nature intended” responds to and is enriched by the effects of time. Time & environment contribute to the statement of the art. In this case, “Environment” means weather, people, air, humidity, temperature, gravity… anything that can affect any material.
     Art "touches” us but we are rarely allowed to touch back. Some Actual Art requires touching; some are “painted” by rain, weathered for years, struck by lightning; evolve by oxidation or the pull of gravity. Some rely on the migration of paint or oil through canvas, while others use migration on a molecular level, a process known as “diffusion”. This collaboration with Nature is real, physical and not always predictable. The artist may wait years to find the partnership has produced garbage or that it has revealed aspects of nature hidden, by design or ignorance and exceeded even the artist’s expectations. Switching the conceit of thinking we can control nature to working with nature transports Actual Art to a whole new level of communication at a time when continuing to fight or even ignore nature can end life, as we know it, on a global scale.



Photos clockwise from upper left: "Azov" [metal powders & patina on canvas] by Alexia Nikov, from Kiev, in the Ukraine; "Dubhe" [etched hot-rolled steel steel & sea water] by Dan Dempster of Burmuda; Uncertainty" [lead shot in tilting, interactive table]  by David Myers; "Thought" [rust in encaustic on linen] by Tony Reason, of Great Britain; "Sink" [steel plate to be watered daily] by William Anastasi; "Untitled" [hand-blown glass sculptures for trees to grow into] by Robert DuGrenier; "Grass" [Living Grass growing on canvas] by Maria Ceppi of Switzerland; "Sunny Blu" [powdered pigment, exploded onto sized canvas with fiecrackers] by Tery Fugate-Wilcox.

The Actual Art Foundation has worked with other not-for-profit organizations such as The Public Art Fund, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and City Walls to assist artists in realizing major works of art throughout the City, both temporary installations as well as permanently installed site-specific works. The Foundation also works with many major international corporations towards the completion and promotion of temporary art exhibitions as well as permanent installations of art, and to assist in the education of the public, especially school children, about art in general and environmentally conscious art in particular. 

Photos from left: "Weathering Wall" [bars of brass, bronze, iron, steel & copper corroded by weather, to color the wall];  "Holland Tunnel Wall" [layers of incompatible paints weather over time]; "Warping Wood" [hemlock wood 2 x 4's. 20 feet long,  flower out, when dry & close up when the air is damp]; "Weathering Triangle" [metal powders, iron, copper, brass, bronze & steel,  imbedded just under the surface of the concrete, fresco-style]. All public  artworks  by Tery Fugate-Wilcox

The Actual Art Foundation is sponsoring the San Andreas Fault Sculpture Project by art-maker Tery Fugate-Wilcox. Using the energy in the San Andreas Fault to create a work of art near Palm Springs, in the Indio Hills where the fault is in constant motion & is clearly visible, in places. He is using the force of plate tectonics, (the drift of the continents that causes earthquakes, volcanoes, creates mountain ranges & opens up rifts beneath the sea). Fugate-Wilcox is intent on using the energy in a constructive way.
The San Andreas Fault Sculpture Project is a solid one-piece, one-acre, block of concrete, placed across the fault. The sculpture will break into two “golden rectangles" shifting past each other at an average rate of 2-3 inches a year. The photo above demonstrates the shift after about 100 years. The acre of concrete will weigh 65,000 tons & will loom 20 feet high, 188 feet wide & 232 feet long on the floor the desert.  re...tery pages, 4 & 5....

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