ASCENDING

Submitted by Robert Barnum

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Client: City of Blue Springs, Missouri Parks and Recreation.

Location: Blue Springs, MO, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $75,000

Project Team

Welding Engineering program

David Murray

Ferris State U.

Content and site preparation

Justin Stuart

Blue Springs park and Recreation

Overview

ASCENDING: A visual Celebration.
ASCENDING by content, by design and by title celebrates the City of Blue Springs, Missouri. This multiple component figure driven sculpture environment suggests in creative terms the inspirational power of an active and full life. ASCENDING stands as a classic example of my artistic goals of working beyond individual style to evolving the personal public art statement. This sculpture environment allowed by choice of cut word content and by selection of title a personal/committee and city level of ownership. The 360-degree environment of ASCENDING was carefully designed to offer multiple views at multiple distances and can be viewed 24/7. It is always a bit of an honor in my opinion to work beyond the limitations of artistic history and style to create a work of art at the higher humanist level. A level of physical presence created out of ridged metal that has an inspired visual kinetic as it celebrates the human story. ASCENDING from initial design to installation allowed that opportunity. My public art is carefully engineered by material choice and by fabrication technique to create complex multiple metal, multiple story visual environments that are safe and will require minimum maintenance.

Goals

ASCENDING was carefully designed to inspire personal, committee and city ownership as it also stands as an example of my personal artistic goals to bring the human narrative or story back into the public art arena using contemporary materials. ASCENDING embraces content in multiple forms. The first form of content is in the character of the figure, sky, landscape, or symbolic forms/shapes themselves. Unique forms directed as much by material as by story. The second form of content is in the design of the cut word or cut symbols that embellish my stylized organic figures or other shapes unique to my style. In essence my cut word, cut illustration or cut symbolic content stands as a sort of organic shaped book or novel. Scale is critical in my sculpture designs and allows a presence in height and footprint that creates a significant public presence. Light and multiple uses of light from projected light to an internal light source design under my “Lantern Design” have proven new ground in and with my sculpture environments. Choice of materials and careful engineering on my end creates large scale public art that is weather and wind resistant and will stand or last for centuries.

Process

ASCENDING as a sculpture environment with multiple components and multiple views is as much about style as it is about communication. Communication as would be defined by a personal level of response and interpretation by the viewer as it is designed to allow some level of individual, committee, or city ownership. Carefully considered, tested and evolving engineering is an ongoing process and challenge as my figure intensive public sculptures seek a larger scale and considerable heights. It is this potential scale in footprint and in height that allows or visually suggests my “Beacon” environment that can be viewed at a considerable distance. Other engineering priorities in my art experiments with an actual kinetic defined under my “Kite Effect” work as this engineering also considers almost zero maintenance and the reality of weather, wind, and sun on exterior objects. My public sculptures are drawing intensive. It is my concept drawings that serve as critical tools in evolving the personal public art statement that inspires and embraces a long-term ownership as it suggests a narrative for the contemporary viewer as it would the viewer centuries forward in time.

Additional Information

I stand as an artist that actually builds my own sculptures regardless of scale. I do not use commercial fabricators to build my art.