If the voices and eyes of all the world’s children were raised in peace, what would we see, hear and feel? Artist Melissa Daubert invites us into that experience with OM, her interactive installation showcased at PlayhouseSquare’s International Children’s Festival May 2-7, 2011.
Combining art and audio technology, OM is an interactive art experience inspired by global awareness, learning and healing. As visitors enter OM, they are met by the gazing eyes of 1,839 sculptural figures standing on seven continents around the world. One sculpture per million children represents the entire world’s population of children under age 15.* As visitors wander through the installation, sensors trigger raising figures’ voices in chants of “OM.” As more continents join in, a fuller more harmonious sound is created.
Daubert’s work reflects the idea that, were the entire world to sing with one voice, the resulting vibration would change the earth’s energy and bring peace. She’s watched this concept come alive for visitors to OM as the piece encourages awareness and connects children and families to art as a means of exploring their world. In the words of one mom:
“Magical. Moving. Mesmerizing. Magnetic. Our 4-year-old was drawn by OM’s calming energy, illuminated sound and universal sense of wonder immediately. It was a moment to cherish. Definitely a “must-see” and “must-experience” for families and visitors of all ages!” – Jing Lauengco
OM’s 1839 figures (representing the world’s 1,838,700,000 children under age 15*) were individually created and uniquely costumed with repurposed clothing. They sing with the voices of real children courtesy of vocals by students from Cleveland’s School of Rock. OM also celebrates the non-humans who share our world: 20 handmade penguins stand on Antarctica representing that continent’s 20,000,000 penguins. **
OM was commissioned for the festival’s premiere in 2010 and returns this year as one of the event’s many unique presentations from around the world. The installation is part of the International Children’s Festival Art Walk and will be on view Monday, May 2 – Friday, May 6 from 5:00-8:00pm and Saturday, May 7 11:00am-7:00pm. Funding for OM was provided by Kathy and Jim Pender and the Michael Pender Fund. Funding for the Art Walk was provided by The George Gund Foundation.
For complete information about OM, visit http://www.experienceom.com.
About the Artist
Daubert’s work is sought after by places of healing and educating and can be found at The Gathering Place (Beachwood, Ohio); Strong National Museum of Play (Rochester, New York); Health Works! Kids’ Museum (South Bend, Indiana); Arkansas Museum of Science (Little Rock, Arkansas) and Akron Children’s Hospital (Akron, Ohio). Daubert has been a featured artist at Cleveland’s Ingenuity Festival of Art & Technology and currently serves on the board for the Ingenuity Festival and for the COSE Arts Network. She is a Seth Rosenberg Award recipient, a COSE Arts Business and Innovation Awards finalist and a National Arts Program Award recipient. Looking to the future, she leads art education programs for inner-city youth, partnering with community-based organizations across northeast Ohio. For more information, call (216) 651-0929 or visit http://www.melissadaubert.com.
About the Festival
PlayhouseSquare is a not-for-profit performing arts center whose mission is presenting and producing a wide variety of quality performing arts, advancing arts education and creating a destination that is a superior location for entertainment, business and housing, thereby strengthening the economic vitality of the region.
Presented by PlayhouseSquare’s Community Engagement & Education Department, the International Children’s Festival is a fun and interactive experience featuring performances, workshops and an Art Walk. For complete info, including ticket information, visit festival site: http://www.playhousesquare.org/childrensfestival.