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#TBT to breaking the ONLY rule about Beauty & the Beast…

#TBT to breaking the ONLY rule about Beauty & the Beast…

We just had to get inside.

In 2002, Ava Blitz changed the landscape of Appel Farm forever with the installation of Beauty & the Beast. Ava worked with campers, local students, and volunteers from all over South Jersey for two years teaching casting, carving, mold making, relief and intaglio, and art history, all while bringing this important piece of public art to life. Ava named this piece for her enthusiasm and love for the oddness, humor, mystery, beauty, obsessiveness, color, beastliness, and ambiguity, of forms and systems in the natural world!

As soon as it was completed, all 117 5-foot concrete units in the pit, we realized its pull. We had to get inside Beauty & the Beast. It was new, and there were no rules against enjoying this joyous work of art from the inside, so we jumped in, some of us more easily than others. That’s when we realized that each of the 117 5-foot concrete units curved gently in a different direction, at a different angle, and into most of our heads as we ran around inside our new sculpture! We bumped our heads! Bummer, right? And so the rule was set, signs were printed, and now we try as hard as we can to resist that pull…

Now, we are all good people, and we mostly follow the rules. There aren’t that many at Appel Farm Arts Camp, and they are carefully written to keep us safe. In fact, rules change when they need to, sometimes when a group of campers organizes to bring new ideas to light. It’s one of the best things about Appel Farm! But this rule is a good one, so it stays. It’s quite hard to follow, though, and sometimes we give into the pull. We get inside Beauty & the Beast. We bump our heads. Bummer, right? But, ugh, it’s so fun!

Check out all of these rule breakers, and read more about our favorite sculpture on AVA’S WEBSITE, which has a great video highlighting the process of creating Beauty & the Beast in the Links section!