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Local Musician Defies Genres with ‘The Core’

An early prototype of  the  interactive tower that is apart of The CORE art project.

Photo credit: Chris Johnson

An early prototype of  the  interactive tower that is apart of The CORE art project.
Written by: Communicator StaffJanuary 23, 2016

Written by Colby Shoup

Hope Arthur, a local musician, artist and IPFW alumna, has been creating music with her band, The Hope Arthur Orchestra, since 2011. However, with her latest project she is planning on doing more than just music, Arthur said. She wants to create a multimedia art project that’s both personal and collaborative.”

At first I just wanted to build this tower-like structure for musicians and dancers to perform on, but after talking to a bunch of people about it the idea became a lot bigger than that,” Arthur said. “It’s become this constantly evolving interactive art piece that’s different from anything I’ve done before, and I think — or at least I hope — that it could be something that could last even if I moved on to a different project.”

The project is called The CORE, which stands for Cultivating Oneness Reinventing Expression. Its centerpiece is a constantly evolving and changing tower, Arthur said. As it exists now, the tower is merely a prototype of what the final version will look like. It is made from interlocking pieces of styrofoam and wood and currently stands at roughly eight feet tall.

Arthur promises the next version will be much taller, steadier and made of steel. These changes will be made gradually, Arthur said. She wants the tower to be an “intricate visual representation” of the human psyche and how it evolves through time.

Jeremy Stroup and Gregor Roth, two local sculptors, were recruited by Arthur to help create the tower based on her initial idea. The two sculptors have very different styles according to Stroup, but when it came to collaborating on the tower’s design, Stroup said they worked well together.

“His style kind of refined mine, and my style kind of cluttered his up a little bit,” Stroup, fellow IPFW alumnus, said. “It was cool working together to create a skeleton for a design that a lot of other artists would get to work with, but the most interesting and unique thing about Gregor and I working together was that we both understood the other person’s point of view.”

Arthur began staging performances surrounding the sculpture in June 2015 at the Wunderkammer Art Gallery, and has performed two more versions of the project since then. Each performance featured the help of fellow artists and performers.

The next performance of The CORE at Parkview Physicians Group on Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. will feature both local and international artists and performers.The first act of the show will feature original music composed and performed by Arthur and The Hope Arthur Orchestra, accompanied by images being projected on the tower. The second act of the show will feature a story conceived by the Austrian duo Saitnkini and music written and performed by Arthur and fellow IPFW graduate Kurt Roembke. This act will also feature a dance directed by Elizabeth Mikautadze and performed and choreographed by a group of seven dancers from the Mikautadze Dance Theatre.

Arthur said she made it a point to give each collaborator creative freedom when working on their portion of The CORE. She also said it was important that one artist’s contribution didn’t overshadow anyone else’s.

“Basically I asked them to come up with their own brain child based on my brain child,” Arthur said. “When it comes to the second act, we’re really helping to realize Saintnkini’s ideas here, but it all stems from my initial idea.”

The CORE started as a personal passion project, but, she said it quickly became something much bigger than herself. It is now the project of a plethora of artists inside and outside the Fort Wayne art community.

Stroup and Arthur both said they hope it has the potential to get the attention of more local artists and encourages them to make projects of their own