As part of ArtPrize 2011, the creation of "Be Still and Know IV" came to be. It was permanently installed in Lacks Park, in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. It is 32 foot tall, welded corten, and stands just up from the Grand River. The images shown include two smaller scaled works, which were created as predecessors to the monumental piece. While each version changed, the final design was worked out in these smaller works.
Grand Rapids has a history of important public sculpture, starting with the first publicly funded sculpture of Alexander Calder. The city has numerous public works now, and adding this sculpture to the city required careful consideration of the site. As there were several large scale works in the immediate area, siting the work was critical. This site fit the intention of the piece quite well.
The complete project required a fair amount of interaction with various committees within the university. The cooperation was superb. As this was the first monumental public piece I'd installed at that point, we used three different structural engineering firms, two for the actual sculpture, and one specifically for the foundation. There were absolutely no complications, and the installation went as smoothly as it could.
'Be Still and Know IV' invites viewers to pause and reflect. We are so busy, moving at incredible physical and emotional speeds, without time to think, bombarded with news, much of it disturbing, and it leaves us anxious and worried. 'Be Still and Know' presents us with a different message - one of peace and hope. In the beautiful setting of a small urban park, near the Grand River it stands. Towering above us, it encourages us to quiet ourselves down, to look up, to take some time to consider. We are not alone in our challenges - ever.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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