The Ragdale Foundation is a national artist residency program located in Lake Forest, Illinois. In 2013, the inspiration launched a contest to “reinterpret the Ragdale Ring,” designed by architect Howard Van Doren Shaw in 1912. Shaw’s ring design helped spring forward the thought to welcome and promoted contemporary, experimental, and functional design ideas for the competition. Now in its ninth year, designers were asked to submit “inventive, site-responsive, large-scale submissions that explore intersections of architecture, sculpture, landscape, public art, and performance disciplines.”
The 2021 Ragdale Ring Competition winners are Brooklyn-based design studio Almost Studio and their design proposal “That’s a Wrap.”
View project images, a description from the studio, and jury comments below.
This year’s jury selected Almost Studio’s “That’s a Wrap” for its “timely and poignant solution to the questions posed for this year’s Ragdale Ring competition.” The Ragdale Jury continued to discuss the project, stating, “with the pandemic still looming, and therefore the notion of artists presenting performative works at a venue that needed to be flexible in both body and concept, Almost Studio truly embraced the challenge with their interpretation of mobility. The range of projects this year may be a testament to the relevance of the work of designers, and that we are honored to support the vision of this standout proposal.”
Gagliardi, Booth, and Calidonio Stechmann shared, “Three bittersweet words that any performer eagerly awaits – “that’s a wrap” – initiates a transition from one phase to a different, from the ending of production to the start of the choice, editing, and sharing process. Likewise, following the globally turbulent year of 2020 that has affected numerous so deeply, That’s a Wrap represents a turning point. It’s a signifier that we are nearing the completion of 1 phase together – a vaccine has been established, an election has been confirmed, heightened social awareness is growing – and that we must now begin the post-production method. What have we learned? What can we keep? What edits must be made? Together, it’s necessary to start this chapter of reflection.
“That’s a Wrap proposes a mobile series of stage sets that adapt to the Ragdale Foundation landscape, providing an adjustable backdrop that will amplify this season of performances, discussions, and reflections. We are deeply grateful to the Ragdale Foundation and jury for granting us the chance to participate within the 9th Annual Ragdale Ring.”
According to the Foundation, the Ragdeal Ring 2021 performances will begin monthly starting on June 16 and run until September 18. To learn more about the Ragdale Ring competition’s finalists and competition details, click here.