Sound and Sight Walk with Karen McCoy

March 8, 2015. 1pm

The Walk Exchange is pleased to facilitate a walk by Kansas City based artist Karen McCoy.

eartr1The Sound and Sight Walk is based on contemplation of place, with emphasis on its sound as the focusing element. It will provide a variety of soundscapes from hardscape and traffic to birdsong and rushing waters. We will focus on discrete sounds by using hand-carved wooden listening trumpets (look up Beethoven’s ear trumpets). These are carved from burls of trees common on the east coast, Maple, Oak, Box Elder and Elm. A burl is a tree growth in which the wood grain has grown in an abnormal manner due to an injury, either physical or microscopic. The trumpets allow us to hear in subtly different ways. By placing an ear to the small end of the trumpet you may hear amplified sounds from insects, water flowing, and birdsong as intermixed, or separated from, the human-made sounds. Moving from the urban streetscape, through the Conservatory Gardens and into the rustic woodlands, our listening walk will take us into The Ravine, the Huddlestone Arch, down the Loch Walking Path, by the Pool and into the North Woods, the Park’s largest woodland area, built to offer a retreat.The sights and sounds we are interested in are often so woven into the fabric of the everyday as to be scarcely noticed. Of central concern in this work is recognition of the importance of perceptual possibilities, of simple awareness. A cultivation of these facilities allows frequent conscious retreats from the usual patterns of our fast-paced lives, and nurture the human need to break from the often mechanical rhythm of contemporary life. The sight and sound trumpets provide a way of cupping our ears and eyes to the earth.

Date: Sunday March 8
Time:12:45 pm Meeting time, 1 pm departure ***Remember it’s the beginning of  Daylight Savings Time!
Where: Meet at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in the northeast corner of Central Park
Metro: 2/3 train to Central Park North (110st) or B/C train to Cathedral Parkway (110st)
RSVP: info (at) walk exchange (dot) org

Karen McCoy is an artist and associate professor of Sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri. She is a member of the Walking Artists Network and teaches a class entitled Artists in Conversation with the World which is featured on the Smithsonian Institutes Conservation Education website. More of her work may be seen at