Client: Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens
Location: West Palm Beach, FL, United States
Completion date: 2010
Artwork budget: $1,500
Elayna Toby Singer
Ann Norton Sculpture Garden
Commissioned by Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens as part of their Earth Day celebrations, Curator Cynthia Palmieri invited Elayna Toby Singer to re-think and re-purpose the Garden’s lath house using materials re-cycled from the garden, and otherwise.
In addition to being renowned for its monumental sculptures by Ann Weaver Norton, the 1.7 acre garden touts a rare palm collection. And so, from the garden’s compost pile Elayna Toby rescued a palm inflorescence which she re-imagined into a precious bauble that became the centerpiece of the eco-chic chandelier-like kinetic installation that transformed the lath house into a glistening elegant garden room.
Located minutes from the inter coastal waterway, tropical breezes sway through the garden's lush landscape. During the month-long Earth Day celebration, Jewel Tooled twirled overhead and brought a rustic refinement to the space which offered a special setting for donor luncheons and other programs.
The creative collaboration occurred between Elayna Toby and the garden's curator and historian Cynthia Palmieri, an artist in her own right. The conceptual starting point was an invitation to reinvent a space with re-imagined, re-purposed and re-cycled materials. Years before Elayna Toby was commissioned to create this site specific installation, during a neighborhood walk while living in Philadelphia, she found the fireplace screen curbside along someone's trash. Immediately she envisioned the piece transformed into a chandelier. Years later, when visiting her mother outside of Chicago, she spotted a chandelier in her neighbor's trash and harvested the crystals. The chandelier vision was coming to life. When Cynthia showed Elayna Toby the lath house as a possible space for her Earth Day commission, the chandelier concept evolved from a singular object to place of many sparkly rusty objects.
"Jewel Tooled" was Elayna Toby's first site specific art installation as an artist, but she is no stranger to gardens. In fact, her career in place making began in botanical gardens and arboreta where for 15 years she collaborated with curators and program staff to design artful landscapes and educational visitor experiences in Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Naples, Florida.