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Mattatuck Museum Receives Gift: Tim Prentice Kinetic Sculpture



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Mattatuck Museum Receives Gift: Tim Prentice Kinetic Sculpture

WATERBURY — The Mattatuck Museum Arts & History Center has added “Oculus,” a kinetic sculpture, to its collection. The sculpture was a gift from its creator, Tim Prentice. It was presented by the artist during the museum’s annual meeting and corporate sponsor reception on June 19, and has been installed in the atrium ceiling in the museum’s front lobby.

Kinetic sculptures are graceful, mobile-like structures with moving parts that are generally set in motion by the wind.  Constructed of aluminum and wire, “Oculus” is 9 feet in diameter. It looks like it is floating on air and a slight breeze will set it in motion, shooting bursts of light throughout the room.

“When I was a teenager I saw my first sculpture by Alexander Calder in the lobby of the museum in Andover, Massachusetts,” said Mr Prentice. “Thirty years later I gave up a successful architectural practice to start a new career in kinetic sculpture.

“I built this piece ‘Oculus’ at about the same time Cesar Pelli was designing the skylight entrance lobby for the Mattatuck Museum. It took twenty years and the vision of museum curator Cynthia Roznoy to bring the two together for what seems like a perfect fit. Perhaps someday in the future a young person will come into the space and have an experience like the one I had many years ago.  Meanwhile, I am proud to be in a collection that includes works by Alexander Calder, Frederic Church, Arshile Gorky and Yves Tanguy.”

Tim Prentice is a nationally renowned sculptor from Cornwall, known for his beautifully balanced sculptures that float and shimmer in the currents of the air. He earned a master’s degree in architecture from Yale University and co-founded an award-winning architectural firm before establishing a studio to create kinetic sculpture.

His corporate clients include American Express, Bank of America, Mobil, AT&T and Hewlett-Packard. Mr Prentice has completed installations in Japan, Korea, Northern Ireland, and Australia. His work has been exhibited in such public venues as the New York Public Library, Chesterwood, Jacob’s Pillow, Bradley Airport, and the Aldrich Museum.

The Mattatuck Museum, at 144 West Main Street in Waterbury, is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; and Sunday, noon to 5 pm. For more information call 203-753-0381 or visit MattatuckMuseum.org.

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