Project Spotlight: Sky Stage Art Installation in Frederick

08/11/2016
By Preservation Maryland

We recently learned about a cool adaptive reuse project underway in historic downtown Frederick. Sky Stage is scheduled to open in September. It will temporarily transform a boarded-up historic building into an open-air theater that will host arts and cultural programming including drama, music, children’s story time, art classes, folklore, history, naturalists, yoga classes, environmental education, and film.

Sky Stage, the art installation, will occupy the former home of the General Engineering Company at 59 S. Carroll Street right near the Delaplaine Visual Arts Center. The building was built in several phases beginning in the 18th century and at one point served as a gunlock factory that manufactured firearm parts during the American Revolution. The building was badly damaged in a 2010 fire and left without a roof or a certain future. Now, the General Engineering Company has generously donated use of the space to Sky Stage through their non-profit benefactor Frederick Arts Council, bringing a brand new idea and experience to the ruins.

In addition to the arts and cultural activities, Sky Space will host a novel digitally-designed sculpture by artist Heather Clark, with help from MIT’s digital structures research group. The sculpture consists of “ribbons of drought-resistant plants that will twist and wind through a wooden lattice structure” and juxtaposes the historic, hand-built walls with the modern, digitally designed sculpture.

Sky Stage is a community-driven project and is looking for ideas for creative programming to host at the space and help from volunteers to make this space come to life. Visit their website for ways to get involved and to stay up-to-date on this hip-and-historic project.

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