Journal

Jean
Jean

final approval of material for parking garage sculpture

I received word the other day that the city folk who oversee the specific particulars of public projects have agreed to let us use polycarbonate for the sculpture.  Everyone is in agreement, after much research, that it is the perfect medium.  The high wind force was the main concern and we have learned that the the polycarbonate will be more flexible than the metal, adding longevity to the piece.  Since this is the product that car bumpers are made from, the committee was relatively relaxed about damage from hail.  So, it is onward and upward… will start researching where I can purchase the polycarbonate in a 100’ length and about five feet wide. 

Commenting is closed for this entry.

Jean
Jean

been gone far too long

Have had to put the parking garage on hold as we turned our attention to the Aurora installation.  Current photos of the project are on the website.  The installation was a bit stressful simply because we had an eighth inch tolerance between the pipes in the foundations and the pipes in the structures.  As it turned out, the pipes matched up perfectly but the real challenge turned out to be the rigging of the forms with the crane.  We erroneously thought that the crane operators would know all about moving mass, which they do, but their primary concern was protecting the art work as they lowered the forms into the foundations. Took hours and hours.  Lift it up, set it down.  Reposition the clutch, lift it up, set it down.  On and on.  We finally met with success after five hours of this dance routine and the finish product made every stressful moment worthwhile.  Now, back to the garage piece. 

Commenting is closed for this entry.

Jean
Jean

Garage update Part 4

Being an artist that creates work for the public domain is like doing a rough interpretation of an Annie Oakley stunt.  She would straddle two racing horses down the concourse with the reins in one hand, waving to the crowds with the other and a wide Texas grin plastered on her face. Then she would drop the hand wave, pull out a six shooter and commence firing at the target, scoring a perfect ten. In public art, the artist has to create the vision, sell the dream and then fabricate the piece with such a flourish it makes the committee swoon. 

Met with our architect, Terrance Patrick Riley, and brainstormer, Randy Ford yesterday morning to begin the process of solving the connections.  We realized quickly enough that other challenges are lingering in the wings: namely, how to keep the metal from vibrating off the walls during one of Pueblo’s infamous wind storms.  We entertained the idea of installing the art work on its own separate panel and then lifting the whole shebang as one unit.  Okay… what to use for the panel? 

Tom and I scoured through the junk yard today looking for thin sheets of aluminum that can be cut for the working model.  Ended up at Home DePot where we purchased the metal that roofers use to line the valley’s of roof sections.  Cuts easy enough with scissors.  Tomorrow we will get started. 

Commenting is closed for this entry.

Jean
Jean

Parking Garage Part 3

In order to determine how this sculpture is going to connect to the concrete panel, it is necessary for us to build a new model.  The first one was more like a performance piece to inspire the committee into selecting the concept. This new model will be workable, one built to scale so we can actually begin designing the connecting system.  It will have to be constructed from a material thin enough to be cut with a utility knife yet rigid to hold its form as we bend and manipulate the shapes. Tom is thinking of some kind of aluminum while my inclinations lean more to poster board with each piece backed with a strand of thin wire. We need to decide this detail quickly as the contractor is reminding us that Stresscon will be pouring the panels within the next two weeks.

This little tidbit of information… we need it NOW...can shrink the creative process faster than hot water on a wool sweater. And when I first heard those words, my gut reaction said “run”.  I have far too many angels dancing on the head of my pin to try and cram another one into the space.  But, experience has taught me that a few deep breaths can help a world of panic and cool the head, assisting me in my problem solving options. Soon the contractor helped me to discover that it is not necessary to deliver the actual piece in two weeks, just the information as to where to locate the connections before they pour. The sculpture can arrive in March, the original date of delivery. 

Commenting is closed for this entry.

Jean
Jean

Pueblo Parking Garage - Part 2

By a slim margin of three points Tom and I secured the job for the art work.  Now the fabrication. 

This is a new direction for us because the concept we proposed uses powder coating on aluminum and one that we will not personally make.  We will oversee all the steps from selecting the gauge of the aluminum, drawing the forms that will be fed into a computer that will dictate to the laser beam what to cut, work with the engineer to devise the attachment system to hold the artwork to the wall, and coordinate the color layout with the powder coater.  It sounds so easy but through experience I know that such a job will entail literally hundreds of emails, site visits, miscommunication, hours in meetings and a certain amount of hair pulling. Is this what making art is about?  It’s a long way from the potter’s wheel but I remind myself of Jean Claude and Christo.  How they say every part of the job is the art; how the final piece is only a synthesis of all the steps and all the people and all the confusion and resolutions.  Sounds a bit like a new age bumper sticker… it’s not the destination that matters, but the journey.  Appropriate it is on a car bumper because rarely is the ride a smooth one. 

Commenting is closed for this entry.

Jean
Jean

New commission at Pueblo Parking Garage

Public art is not for sissies.  It requires a resilient skin that can fluff off rejection and a stamina akin to metal as one waits for decisions on a proposal.  The commission at the new Parking Garage being constructed in Pueblo, Colorado was no exception.  Even though we were applying to an audience that is familiar with our previous work, every public commission can be viewed as a crap shoot. You throw your ideas into the pool of options, never knowing what the committee envisions for a particular space yet hoping that they can translate the design concept from a cardboard mock-up to the actual site. Questions always abound and, as was the case in this instance, not having the opportunity to make a personal presentation the artist is left wondering how the coordinator will best answer the issues that arise. 

The process of selecting an artist for a commission is basically the same in most cities.  The committee members are given a piece of paper with the name of each contestant.  On the paper are sections with various criteria: experience of the artist, concept of the design, materials selected and context of the work submitted. After the presentation each member then rates the artist on a score between one and ten, ten being the highest.  The scores are added and the artist with the highest number wins the commission.  Ta-da!

More to come tomorrow.......

Commenting is closed for this entry.

Previous Page