The Yard is a public art space run by Jessica Langley, a Domestic Museology alumna, and her husband/collaborator, Ben Kinsley, in their front yard in Colorado Springs. The project is a continuation of The Stephen and George Laundry Line, a domestic, semi-public art exhibition space that the two ran out of their Ridgewood, Queens, apartment from May 2015 to January 2017, when they relocated to Colorado.
Like the Laundry Line, The Yard is meant to engage people with artistic practice outside of the institutions usually understood as “places for art.” Suburban front yards (and their urban counterparts, the back-alley laundry line) operate as a liminal space between the personal/domestic sphere and the outside world. Drive through any neighborhood and it will quickly become obvious that the front yard also functions as a platform for personal expression. Is your lawn well-manicured with hedges? Or is it an explosion of wildflowers and native plants? What about lawn ornaments? Or political signage? As varied as the front yard can be, however, most of them operate within a pretty narrow vocabulary of gardening and outdoor props. In contrast, The Yard, invites passers-by to to experience the unexpected delight of coming across a rotating series of site-specific installations meant to engage them in thinking about both the artwork and its context.
For their inaugural exhibition, Jessica and Ben invited North Carolina-based artist Jerstin Crosby to install a large-scale metal sculpture based out of his nightly drawing practice of sketching the profiles of heads. The sculpture, Untitled (Current Mood), transforms an ephemeral, gestural sketch into a gate-like, kinetic structure that bounces and moves with the wind. To get to the house, you must first pass through the head, requiring you to participate in the project.
On view currently is Finnish artist Laura Lappi’s site-specific installation, Untitled (Study of Charring Wood and Burning Structures II), a mysterious, still-smoldering outbuilding constructed from charred wood. Funded in part by a grant from Frame Finland, it evokes both the beauty and horror of architectural ruin. I can easily imagine how unnervingly unexpected it would be to encounter the ominous structure on a quiet evening stroll. And I suspect Jessica and Ben would appreciate that.
You can keep up with the Yard and its quarterly rotation of installations at:
And if you find yourself in Colorado Springs, find them here: