Skating in the Sculpture Garden has officially been one-upped by the Corcoran, where guests can now skate on an indoor, iceless rink in the museum's rotunda. It's a piece called "Rink," a part of sculptor Mia Feuer's solo show about the global oil industry, "An Unkindness," and it's one of the most ambitions "NOW" exhibitions at the Corcoran to date. Feuer is the focus of the exhibition page in Friday's Weekend section -- read the full story here.


(Courtesy of Kate Warren)

An excerpt:

It took a year and a half of planning before “Rink” could glide into the Corcoran’s rotunda. Feuer worked with a rink fabricator, and they tested several types of plastic for the black “ice” before finding the perfect one. The 16-by-27-foot rink was delivered to the Corcoran in more than 20 pieces and took a day to assemble. The museum declined to reveal the specific price but said the cost was in the low tens of thousands of dollars.

When visitors arrive in the rotunda, they’ll see shelves of hockey skates and masks to their left — a tribute to Feuer’s father, a former goalie — as well as a volunteer wielding a clipboard of legal waivers. Sign one, and you’re free to glide around the rink, one person at a time. I found the rink to be more slippery than ice, but Feuer, who was the first to take a spin, says the surface will get easier to skate on.

“According to the manufacturer, the more grooves that are in the material, the better it starts to work,” she says. “I think it actually skates pretty good.”

“Rink” is free with museum admission and will have limited hours throughout the exhibition: from 2 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, a big day for museum attendance, visitors can skate from noon to 5 p.m.

"Rink" wasn't the only part of the exhibition that came together piece-by-piece. A sculpture, also titled "An Unkindness," hangs over the rink in the rotunda, and the Corcoran put together a time-lapse video of how the piece came together. The museum had to secure seven "trees" made of chicken wire and roofing paper, which had to be lifted to a rig 28 feet off the ground. "Mia would direct from below and on the scaffolding, adjusting everything through us," said Brian Sentman, the Corcoran's chief preparator, in a statement. "The feathers came last -- there were a lot, maybe three-hundred."

Check it out here:

NOW Mia Feuer: An Unkindness Installation from Corcoran Gallery of Art on Vimeo.