The Hairpin Olympics

The Hairpin Olympics was held at the ‘Hairpin Turn’ scenic overlook in Alfred, NY on February 28th, 2014. Created in an effort to provide Alfred University students with a platform to explore participatory art practices, the Hairpin Olympics reimagined the Olympics as a participatory art exhibition. The exhibition put out a call for artists to propose individual projects that would make up the Olympic events, and an open invitation for anyone to participate in the projects as the ‘Hairpin Olympians’. The projects and participants were judged by a distinguished panel of judges who evaluated the projects by the evaluation criteria provided by each event’s artist.

My role as the organizer and facilitator of the entire event was primarily to assist artists and participants into believing that this was indeed a significant creative endeavor worth standing in the cold to be a part of. Hand painted signs, a burn barrel, awesome trophies, a great spread of food, printed matter, a loud speaker, the panel of judges and the series of events which were operated as individual works by the line up of artists, all helped build a critical mass and ambiance which engulfed the entire setting; transcending the individual elements of the project to make for a utopian calibration of art and humanity.


The ‘Distinguished Panel of Judges’ was comprised of:

Ian McMahon, Dawn Bennett and Katie Hargrave

Participating Artists and their respective projects were as follows:

Jesse J Ring - “Sometime You Need to Run to Get What You Want

Henry Glavin - “Painting Construction”

Tim Gonchoroff - “The Human Condom Relay Race”

Bryce Loyd - “Dingle Dangle Draw”

Arthur Gross - “The Greenware Biathlon”

Armando Minjarez - “Doc199” (event did not end up actually occurring)

Mike Flemming - “Have You Ever Wanted to Flip Over a Table??”

Andrew Oesch - “The Shape of the Space Between Me and You”

Josh Grant Smith -“Twerking as Aesthetic Expression Through the Male Lens”

Kevin Dart - “Balls on Fire”