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projects: izzy the frog at cssu

2010-2011
Central Connecticut State University

New Britain Schools
New Britain, CT

IZZY THE FROG IN LUMINALAND, an experiential installation is designed to educate the public and students of all ages, about the environment around them. Informational art banners, bubbling water, reflecting pools, sound and video created a backdrop for school programs and performances.

izzy cssuAs a closing event Dance Central performed “Izzy M&M’s Hip Hop Frogs" and "Break Dance Bullfrogs" with New Britain 4th Graders. The Gallery is pleased to be participating in the New Britain School District/CCSU Collaboration welcoming the New Britain Academy to IZZY THE FROG.

The two-pronged exhibition,IZZY THE FROG IN LUMINALAND and IZZY THE FROG IN THE PARK RIVER WATERSHED provokes the questions: Who is Izzy? Is Izzy us? Is Izzy in trouble? Where is Izzy?.

In fact, Izzy is in trouble. One of every three frog species in the world is threatened with extinction.

IZZY THE FROG IN LUMINALAND is an experiential installation created by Joy Wulke of Projects2k and will lead viewers and participants through a landscape of reflective ponds of water, moving images and light, glass structures, bubbling water tanks, a series of large drawn images, accompanied by a soundtrack produced in collaboration with Istvan Peter B'Racz. The installation illustrates stories of the evolution of our relationship with toads and frogs as symbols of transformation through multicultural myths and as the species of warning of universal ecological breakdown.

IZZY THE FROG IN THE PARK RIVER WATERSHED(the water drainage basin that encompasses CCSU and much of New Britain and empties into the Connecticut River at Hartford) is the subject of a Park River Watershed Mural created by artist Jerry Butler with the help of CCSU and local middle school students. This mural raises awareness about our local ecological community and non-sustainable human impact on the environment, utilizing frogs as an indicator, and water as an ambient theme.

“I thought that the IZZY the Frog presentation was very informative and environmentally conscious. I learned a lot of things about our fresh water supply that I did not know before. Having all of this new knowledge I will be more conscience about our planet’s fresh water supply. I also though the IZZY exhibition was a very good way to stress the issue of keeping our fresh water unpolluted.”

— CCSU student

Izzy the Frog Student Performance

Artist Statements

"Izzy was created by Istvan B’racz in 2001 while composing for TERRA LUMINA (a spectacular laser, light, sound, dance event in the Stony Creek Quarry in Branford, CT). Istvan recorded the sounds of the people building the set and accidentally had several frog-chirps creep into the recording. The frog chirps 'accidentally' crept into the pre-show music (now called IZZY THE FROG IN LUMINA LAND) and the actual frogs began to respond during each show, loudly singing away. Normally they would be frightened by the lights, noise, and people-but each night we had to spray the area for mosquitoes and gnats, and the froggies would gorge on the dead insects. I am convinced they began to 'trip' on the dead bug juice, and that was how IZZY THE FROG IN LUMINA LAND came to be. It was the Frog’s own shamanistic mythology."

- Istvan B’Race, SoundScape

"IZZY is us moving through both a beautiful and momentarily bountiful environment of today not knowing where the next generation’s environment might lead us. We need to pay close attention; natural resources are being depleted by the day. Stewardship is necessary now. Are you a steward, do you pay attention to your daily habits of consumption? "

- Elizabeth Longhorn

"I create works that invite the users to become part of the environment and to enjoy the work through the experience of it. The landscape and its geological history is a big influence on my work highlighting the wonder of natural resources to encourage environmental stewardship Each user has an opportunity to learn more about the environment around them and to become an owner of the work through interacting with it. I strive to create works of wonder."

- Joy Wulke

Creation Team

Joy Wulke, installation artist, costumes
Elizabeth Longhorn, art historian, environmental artist
Istvan B’Race, composer
Jerry Beckler, mural artist

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