Laura Paresky Gould
Miami Weather Almanac Series Description
Miami Weather Almanac is a series of colorful artwork by award-winning artist Laura Paresky Gould. At first glance, the bright-colored pigment works on paper, canvas, and collage are delightful graphic color studies of circles, stripes, and squares, respectively; yet each is layered with historical information. The work visually dispenses the data of relative record temperatures from 1839 through spring 2007 using information she derived from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Paresky Gould, originally from Boston, lives in Miami Beach, and appreciates the warm, tropical climate of Miami which served as a source of inspiration for Miami Weather Almanac. Over the course of four years, she translated temperature values into color, with experiments that ranged from algebraic equations to arbitrary selection, to obtain the desired visual effect. Ultimately, she devised a system using a range of Pantone colors so the viewer could see the relative data. The darker colors represent cooler and the lighter colors represent hotter temperatures. “The placement of each color is determined by the fluctuation of weather in history,” says Paresky Gould. Each work combines the predictability of a controlled, repetitive grid with the spontaneity and randomness of natural weather patterns.
In her multicolored artworks, Miami Record Highs By The Day and Miami Record Lows by The Day, each day of the year's record temperature is represented by a single dot. The record temperatures are placed chronologically, beginning with January 1. Each ten degrees is shown as a different color on the color spectrum - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The small range of color variation (three colors) in Miami Record Highs By The Day contrasts with the wide range of color variation (six colors) in Miami Record Lows By The Day. This represents the fact that there is a 18 degree variation of record high temperatures, while there is a 47 degree variation of record low temperatures. In Miami Record Highs By The Day, the bright orange circle stands out, representing 100 degrees. Despite Miami's reputation for heat, the temperature only reached 100 degrees one time, on July 21st, 1942.
In Hurricane, each of the five storm categories on the Saffir-Simpson scale is represented by a different shade of red. The lightest red dots represent Category 1 whereas the darkest represent Category 5. Two hundred eighty hurricanes are represented by the category with which each first made landfall in the continental United States, between 1851 and 2006.
In her monochromatic pieces, Paresky Gould created two artworks per season (one high and one low), crafting four record high temperature and four record low temperature pieces, using eight Pantone color palettes. Each work is 7 circles across by 14 circles down, representing the seven days in one week, and the approximate 14 weeks per season. In Miami Winter Highs, the darkest blues represent the coldest days and the lightest blues represent the warmest days. Paresky Gould repeated this process with Miami Spring Highs (green palette), Miami Summer Highs (red palette) and Miami Fall Highs (orange palette). For the record low temperatures, she continued the series with palettes of yellow, purple, aqua, and gray.
In addition to the works on paper, the expanded series also includes striped and numbered canvases for each season, Pantone chip collages of record high and low temperatures, and video artwork for television -- all within the same theme of record weather data.