A Place to Call Home. Lobby mural for WI Housing Preservation Corporation

Submitted by Barbara Westfall Art Glass Design

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Client: Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corporation

Location: Madison, WI, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $8,000

Project Team

Artist

Barbara Westfall, MFA

Barbara Westfall Art Glass Design

Architect

Melissa Destree

Destree Design Architects

Lighting Design

Brian Anderson

Anderson Custom

Electrician

Mike Ebbert

Direct Electric

Overview

Destree Architects, and their client WI Housing Preservation Corporation, commissioned a lobby mural for their new headquarters in downtown Madison, WI which overlooks Lake Mendota. Together we settled on the theme of Wisconsin’s capitol city Madison, with its iconic architectural skyline overlooking the lake. The lake is fabricated from hundreds of pieces of hand-cut colored glass and was melted in a kiln to create the look of water. The skyline architecture includes the capitol building and convention center, which are made of laser-cut metal and backlit with LED lights. A second set of LED’s light up the glass lake. The overall effect is stunning in low light settings, perfect for the numerous evening events the group hosts for regional planners, construction companies, design teams, architects and lobbyists.

Goals

It was important to Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corporation that the artist selected for their public art commission was a local company and one that had experience developing themes celebrating natural regional beauty. Since WI Housing Preservation Corporation constructs multi-use property developments throughout the state, they were thrilled the theme our company presented blended the local natural landscape with urban architecture.

Process

The project was seamlessly orchestrated through a combination of online correspondence, Zoom meetings, and phone conversations. The site drawings for the intended installation space were emailed by Destree Architecture to the artist. The art design team submitted a color drawing for approval to the client and architect, with a budget and timeline. Glass was ordered. Meetings between the metals fabricator and AutoCad designer were completed. Digital files were submitted to metal fabricator for producing the buildings. The glass was designed, cut and laid out and a photograph was sent to client before firing glass in the kiln. A final video of the mural was emailed to the client for approval. LED lighting elements were designed and integrated into the glass and metals. A site meeting was scheduled between company's electrician and our art lighting designer. Electric cords were pulled and A/C power supply installed. Art installation was completed and took about 2 hours to complete. All facets of this project happened during COVID-19 and were completed within the CDC's recommendations for social distancing. The artwork is completed and client is so pleased it is it featured in the company's brochures, website and other print material.