Site-Specific Sculpture by Andy Yoder
A modern 25-foot banner of the Army-Navy E-Award
The E Award was presented to the U.S. Naval Torpedo Station for skill, industry, and devotion on the production front during World War II
On view November 11–30, 2016
Torpedo Factory Art Center, Main Atrium
photo by Greg Staley
Photos of this project in progress.
In collaboration with military veterans from The Art League’s IMPart program, artist and League instructor Andy Yoder constructed a site-specific, suspended, 25-ft triangular banner for the Torpedo Factory Art Center’s atrium.
Titled “Highest Honor,” this banner created from sheets of handmade paper is an oversized version of the Army-Navy “E Award,” which took the form of a swallowtail pennant, and was presented to companies during World War II for excellence in the production of war equipment. The U.S. Naval Torpedo Station, as it was known during that time, received this award. It was an honor reflecting the hard work and collective excellence of the factory’s employees, each of whom received a lapel-pin version of the pennant.
December 1940: For Excellence in production, Army Navy "E", Let's Keep It Flying!
Working with veterans to create the sculpture, Yoder’s intent is to extend the spirit of the original award to the present day. The paper pulp used to make the piece largely consists of surplus military hospital garments, along with cleaning rags from the present-day factory’s maintenance staff, and paper from the art studios. The veterans incorporated personal letters, documents, and meaningful objects into the sculpture. They may also add military insignias, tattoos, or other personal imagery to the “E,” anchor, and stars. Like the original award, one of the goals of this project is to acknowledge the contributions and enormous sacrifices of these individuals for the sake of the common good.
Another goal of this project, besides creating a dynamic, compelling visual experience, is to demonstrate the power of art to cut across boundaries and bring people together. It also has to do with reviving history by connecting it to present-day events, while allowing participants and viewers to benefit from the power of art to heal invisible wounds.
Our special thanks go to Patrick Sargent, Torpedo Factory artist & papermaker, for his invaluable role in this production.
This project is sponsored by The Art League.
About the lead artist: Andy Yoder has exhibited work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Queens Museum of Art, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Commissions include works for ESPN, Continental Airlines, Progressive Corporation, David and Susan Rockefeller, and the Saatchi Collection. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, the New Yorker, and The Wall Street Journal. He is a current instructor at The Art League.