This month’s edition of Get To Know the Galleria is a colorful one. We talked with Marianne Newsom and Sunny Sliger of The Color Condition. They’re the brilliant Dallas-based artists behind the beautiful paper chandelier installation currently hanging above the Main Rink at Galleria Dallas! They share the process behind their concept and how their one-of-a-kind installations come to be.
How did the idea for The Color Condition come about?
It was kind of a funny combination of things. We started by working on costumes, and that really influenced our idea of movement and how to capture it. Then we had a series of outdoor projects that incorporated natural elements, which influenced our material choices — we made everything weather resistant.
Explain the planning process behind a Color Condition piece, from the first contact with the client to the actual installation.
First, we have a conversation about the feeling of the event. We talk about what kind of colors evoke its spirit and how people are going to interact with the space. Photos of the space are always helpful for this conversation.
Then, we usually do a site visit with the client and walk through the space, really working with them to come up with ideas that feel right. We identify all the hanging points and take measurements. After that, we go to our drawing board and do a few sketches to nail down a visual for everyone.
At this point, the concept becomes more tangible and exciting. Once all the elements have been decided upon, we start making. Sometimes the client likes to come to the studio during this process to see their piece coming to life. We encourage this because we love visitors! When the day comes, we get in early and start our hanging. Most installs take about six hours, but our bigger events, such as music festivals and the Galleria Dallas composition, take about two days.
What materials do you use for installations?
Anything and everything that can be turned into streamers. Usually, we use a mix of fabrics, plastics and Mylar.
What was your first major installation?
We did an install in York, Maine, at a historical seaside hotel called the Nevada Motel. We hung streamers across its entire face, which overlooked beautiful Long Sands Beach.
Was there a breakout moment or installation for The Color Condition?
It was probably when the Nasher Sculpture Center reached out to us to do a colorful installation in the sculpture garden to celebrate the opening of Klyde Warren Park. We’ve been honored to return several times since participating in the Nasher’s annual fundraiser, The Great Create.
What are your clients most surprised to learn about your installations?
Two things: how light the pieces are compared to the visual impact they make, and the sound. You can’t hear any of our photos, obviously, but when the work moves, it creates sounds that evoke a lot of feelings.
What do you all love most about doing this installation at Galleria Dallas?
The space! Its grandness and the amazing natural light from above.
Where have your most notable recent projects been displayed?
We had an exciting summer, participating in several music festivals, as well as a private project for an inn in Edmonds, Washington, where we covered the side of the inn in a colorful streamer quilt. We did our first large-scale monochromatic piece (in the shape of an amoeba) for New York Fashion Week, and now we’re capping off our crazy season with the honor of displaying our work over the massive ice rink here at the Galleria Dallas—our home city!
If you could do a Color Condition installation around any location or object, what would it be?
The list is too long. But we have always wanted to cover a cross-country train in streamers.
Do you have any advice for other local entrepreneurs trying to make it big?
It’s hard, but don’t let that stop you. Dream big.
Be sure to check out their incredible installation at the Main Rink of the Galleria Dallas Ice Skating Center, hanging through October!