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Client: Washington State Arts Commission

Location: Pierce College, WA, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $75,000

Project Team

Client

Cheryl Batschi

Pierce College

Industry Resource

Robin Wendler

ZFA Structural Engineers

Artist

Ene Osteraas-Constable & Scott Constable

WOWHAUS

Overview

Conceived of as an interactive experience, this 28’ l x 7′; w suspended sculpture embodies the inquiry process: as students traverse the staircase, the artwork animates, creating myriad compositions that shift and change, just as students’ perspectives evolve and grow as they pursue their education. A series of intricate, hand-formed birch FSC-certified birch plywood sculptural elements descend in an undulating column from the ceiling. Artwork is inspired by Pierce College’;s commitment to educational excellence, diversity, and an innovative spirit of inquiry that fosters engaged learners.

Goals

Our goal was to create an architecturally- integrated artwork that reflected the College's commitment to interdisciplinary inquiry and diversity, activating a site on campus via engaging artwork. WOWHAUS was given the opportunity to select a site on campus. We saw great potential in this site, which enables viewers to see the artwork from multiple perspectives; we designed artwork that embodies the journey of discovery and educational process, capitalizing on the unique attributes of the space via our site-responsive design. The skylight above lights the sculpture with natural light, complementing the warm wooden glow of the birch plywood; shadows cast on the ground below echo sunlight filtered through tree branches.

Process

With a focus on sustainability, the sculpture features "green" low-VOC stains and finishes and FSC-Certified birch plywood that embody the College's commitment to the environment. Close collaboration with ZFA Structural Engineers, Washington State Arts Commission, College staff and Artech art installers were integral to the installation process. The diversity of perspectives, colors and compositions in the artwork evoke the spectrum of cultures, ideas, and perspectives that thrive at Pierce College; the collection of varied forms celebrates the diversity of people who come together to make up this vibrant learning community.