Sixteen days remain until the opening of the Rock Hall's Women Who Rock exhibit - the first of its kind documenting nearly a century's worth of music featuring more than 70 female artists, filling two entire floors of the museum with costumes, instruments, handwritten lyrics, video and listening stations, plus much more.
After the paint had dried, the next step in the exhibit creation was hanging the original artwork installation on the top floor of the exhibit. Our exhibit designer originally came up with the idea of a kind of sculpture, made up of album covers of all female artists, to serve as the crowning glory of the exhibit. I was particularly excited by this idea, as I am an old-school, vinyl LP lover. For me, a huge part of the experience of music has been holding a 12 by 12 album cover in my hands, minutely examining the artwork, the liner notes, the credits – CDs and MP3s just don’t work the same way.
So, we set out to identify the most iconic female album covers to include in this original artwork , with an emphasis on showing the diversity and breadth of female artists. The choice of some of the album covers was obvious – for instance – Patti Smith’s Horses or the Go-Gos’ Beauty and the Beat. Others, we hope, are more unexpected, like the Big Mama Thornton cover, or This Is Barbara Lynn, which shows a strong, beautiful female artist, not in a glamorous headshot or seductive pose, but actually playing a guitar. The album sculpture also presented a great opportunity for us to include artists that we were otherwise unable to represent, and thus expand the scope of the exhibit.
The sculpture - created by Better Mousetrap and features a total of 84 24"x24" album covers made of silk-screened acrylic fabric - took about a month to create. The 21 panels span across the circumfrence of the top floor of the exhibit, which is also the top floor of the museum itself.
Catch a glimpse of this original artwork installation below, and don't forget Women Who Rock opens May 13th!