The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater is an exciting new performing arts center in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. Designed by world-renowned architect, Cesar Pelli, the theater is a beacon of light and energy on Main Street. The dramatic Grand Lobby features a public art installation consisting of over 100 lites, each 4’ x 8’, of bent, tempered, and laminated glass panels with colored interlayers comprising the balustrades of the second and third floor balconies.
In treating the railing panels, I considered the holistic experience and the interplay between the familiar (the rituals) and unfamiliar (the new experiences that come with every show). The intent was to create flowing ribbons of color that enhance the elegant, yet festive atmosphere of the lobby. These are inspired by the blues and grays of the Great Salt Lake, the yellows and oranges of sunsets, the golds and pinks of canyons. The sequence of colors emphasizes the curvilinear and sculptural nature of the balconies. Visible through the façade, it beckons to passers-by and draws people in. The title, Ribbons In Time, references both geological strata and the notion that dance, music, and theater are time based arts.
The project could not have been realized without the close collaboration of the Salt Lake City Arts Council, Pelli Clarke Pelli (architect), Arc n’ Spark (railing fabrication and glass installation), and G.M.R. Art and Museum Services (on-site supervision), among others. My first task was to become familiar with space and ambitions of the theater . The design process involved many conversations with the architects and Arts Council and visits to the site and glass fabricators. We explored numerous iterations of color and placement, ultimately integrating the final design into the architect’s large scale model. The entire team worked together to realize the concept well in time for the grand opening of the theater in October 2016.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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[ manifesto ]
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.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
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The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.