Mary Mihelic, Artist.


Long-winded was an interactive motion-activated wind tunnel about the Sears Tower in Chicago.  The city was actually coined the windy city thanks to its long-winded politicians.  In this installation, the artist collected garbage from the streets of Chicago (losing lottery tickets, parking tickets, empty vodka bottles, cigarette packs, business cards, newspapers, green stamps, receipts, etc.) and brought it to New York and placed it in the wind tunnel.  When people stepped into the wind-tunnel, the wind picked up and the garbage whipped around them.

The lights inside the wind tunnel changed colors to match/sync with the colors of the antennas on the Sear Tower during the month it was up.   They were primarily white but went to green for a few days around St. Patrick’s Day and orange and red when the Olympic Committee was touring the windy city.  

The Sears Tower was at one time the tallest building in the world, but like political fame, it’s claim to fame was short-lived.

EXHIBITION: The Building Show at Exit Art

TITLE: Long-winded

MATERIALS: Mixed media

DIMENSIONS: 44 feet x 12 feet x 8 feet

LOCATION: New York, New York

DATES: March 2007


Fallen Soldiers.

Manhattan Street artwork created with artist Caridad Sola in January 2007.  Shown in different neighborhoods throughout NYC.

This artwork is about how as a country we are forcing our ideas of goodness upon other countries so our halo has fallen.  It reminds us of all those who died from falling cranes in our rush to force buildings up too quickly.  It is a metaphor for the current economic times.  And it speaks to those us of who try to force goodness into bad relationships.

Forcing Goodness builds on the use of the halo throughout art history and at the same time questions what is holy?  The Catholic Church traditionally decides who is canonized as a saint and who isn’t.  Yet, the Catholic Church itself has fallen and is forcing itself up.  

The heavy chains and hook serve the practical purpose of helping secure the halo and weigh it down so it won’t blow away in the wind; just as we are weighing goodness down (while at the same time showing how we are trying to force this halo up - a la cranes).   The three chains also represent the holy trinity.

Over the course of the exhibition, the sculpture weathered and started to become more and more a part of the landscape.   The process parallels a sin which is so bright and shiny when first committed.  Then, as time goes by, dulls and blends in with its environment.

EXHIBITION: Sculpture Key West

MATERIALS: Gold leaf, aluminum, chains and hook

DIMENSIONS: 12 feet in diameter

LOCATION: Fort Zachary State Park, Key West, Florida

DATES: March/April 2009

NOTES: Curated by Shamim Omin

Forcing Goodness.

This text artwork is a reaction BP’s Tony Hayward’s statement made after the oil spill saying, “I would like my life back” (2010).   Only this installation puts his words in the mouth of the planet’s by reading, “I would like my life back,” says the planet.  The letters are made from flowers, weeds, ivy…  and appear to be growing from the cracks in the floor.  The artwork asks us all to examine how we are all living at the expense of the planet.  By using pretty flowers and materials, we transform Hayward’s ugly self-centered words into something universal, expansive and even beautiful.  We take his statement beyond just the oil spill.  This sculpture inserts imagination into a statement that is completely devoid of it.  

EXHIBITION: Artloop Open

MATERIALS: Dirt, flowers and mixed media

DIMENSIONS: 100 feet

LOCATION: Block 37 Chicago

DATES: Fall 2010

I would like my life back says the planet.

Church “kneelers” were installed in front of the view of Manhattan and Wall Street during the financial crises.   The site-specific artwork examines what we worship versus what we pray for.  It reflects on the fact that the financial crises may be resulting in a less materialistic society.     

EXHIBITION: spctclr vws

MATERIALS: Wood and fabric

DIMENSIONS: Indoors 15 feet x 15 feet  and outdoors 40 feet by 40 feet

LOCATION: Overlooking Wall Street and Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn, New York

DATES: May/June 2009

Goodness Won.

Earmuffs on Air Conditioners.

During the coldest week of the year, the artist made earmuffs for air conditioners in New York City.  She snapped them on using magnets.  The doormen at the East 68th Street building shown told the artist a week after she installed them that they took them down after three days because hundreds of people came inside and asked about them – and they got tired of it.  The others around NYC stayed up longer.


DATE: Winter 2009


    Copyright Mary Mihelic.  All rights reserved.