Window for a meditation space in a cancer treatment center. 7’- 8” x 31’- 8”. Fired vitreous enamels on tempered glass, sandblasting, prisms. The Ohio River runs through the artwork. The Falls of the Ohio is an enormous waterfall- an impressive, powerful place. Because boaters had to portage around the Falls, the city of Louisville began there. It makes one feel small, like there is something greater and mysteriously beautiful beyond oneself. The artwork is an attempt to convey this power of splashing water and light, showering the surrounding area with ever-changing rainbows, bringing strength and rays of hope.
The intent was to create a place that was beautiful and reassuring for this outpatient cancer treatment center, with imagery that was locally inspired. The circular shape of the room, with an east- west orientation to the south, was a perfect opportunity to use prisms, which cast rainbows everywhere through the space. Rainbows are good omens. It's hard to be sad when you're bathed in rainbows.
The first act of collaboration was halting the exterior glazing order, which was heavily tinted and would have adversely affected the art, replacing it with clear uv-coated glass. Derix Glasstudios, the fabricator, already pressed with a tight schedule, agreed to move the installation date up to accommodate a bike for cancer event. They also figured out how to best translate a very complicated painting into glass. The hospital design team suggested it would be nice to see a garden outside, so I made the river transparent, which made the artwork better. Place names were removed from the design at the suggestion of Dr. Joseph Flynn, the Cancer Center chief, which was another improvement. The general contractor was extremely collaborative as well. For example, they offered to store the crate if it arrived early, offload it with their forklift, and move it to the installation site, simple acts of cooperation that are becoming increasingly uncommon.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
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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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