2000-2005, Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ
In June 2000, I was hired by the City of Mesa, AZ to design an architecturally integrated sculpture for the new
Mesa Arts Center. I completed the final design for my sculpture in 2001. The installation of the piece was coordinated
with the completion of the building, which opened to the public in September 2005.
"The downtown campus of the new Mesa Arts Center provides a perfect focal point for art that interprets the regions natural and human scenes." -- Valley Guide READ REVIEWS
"Color Walk" consists of two ribbons of colored glass, each 80' long x 3' 6" high, that are affixed to the railings of the pedestrian walkway on the west facade of the Mesa Arts Center. These brilliantly colored glass panels -- in intense blue, orange, gold, and magenta -- create a dynamic composition that can be seen from a distance by viewers on the street, and experienced up close by pedestrians moving along the bridge walkways. At night, the panels are illuminated so that they glow and appear to float.
The imagery for the glass is based on photographs of the sky and clouds in Mesa at dusk during a rainstorm. The photographs were scanned into the computer and manipulated to create painterly effects that are sometimes recognizable as clouds, and sometimes totally abstract. The images were collaged to create progressions from one color to another and from clear to cloudy. The dynamic design seeks to capture movements of wind, light and shifting clouds.
During the afternoon, the colored glass panels interact with the sun to
project light and color into the bridge walkways. The piece becomes a "painting"
of colored light, changing throughout the day as the sun shifts. People walking
through the passage become part of the environment, as their shadows mingle with
the patterns of light and color.
The glass was fabricated in collaboration with the skilled artisans at Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc. in Germany. Colored metal oxides were applied to each panel by a process of photosilkscreening, airbrushing, and handpainting. Each of 32 panels consists of two pieces of glass that are laminated together: one layer has a photosilkscreened dot pattern of the clouds, and the other panel is freely handpainted and airbrushed. The two layers combine to create an effect that is both graphic and fluid. The glass was baked in a kiln to create permanent lightproof colors.