Vessels is a public art installation in San Marcos at the Moore Street Residential Complex of the Texas State University Campus. The installation is the result of a collaboration between Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee of RE:Site and Metalab, who provided architecture and project management services. Vessels features water jet cut stainless steel forms that poetically evoke both leaves and canoes. The forms are supported by long sculptural oars that reinforce the metaphor of the vessels and position the forms above viewers, creating dynamic shadow patterns that change throughout the day.
Working with the architects of the new residence hall, RE:site and Metalab were able to coordinate several aspects of the design to seamlessly integrate into the campus landscape. In terms of the thematic content of the artwork, we worked very closely with Texas State University to identify local imagery and themes that were relevant to the University's cultural, geographic, and ecological identity. The San Marcos River is considered “The Heart of Texas State University.” Using the River as a metaphor for the student’s journey, the sculpture's forms are arranged in a path-like configuration to suggest both leaves and canoes navigating along a water current. The water jet cut patterns of the stainless steel forms are organic leaf designs that have been parametrically generated to create a visual effect that allows sunlight to pass through, producing a field of dappled light.
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