Client: Aurora Health Care
Location: Green Bay, WI, United States
Completion date: 2018
Artwork budget: $30,000
Lead Artist, Project Manager
Hutchison Art & Design LLC
Hunting Glass Studio
Blossom is a 13 ft tall sculpture composed of hand blown glass, corten steel, copper and Wisconsin quarried granite. Corten steel was used to create the infrastructure of the pedestal and exterior planes of the blossom petals. The Inner plane of the petals are made of solid copper. Extending upward within the petals are 3 hand blown glass stamens. The stamens are each 3 feet long and are internally illuminated by LED lights, which can be seen from a nearby interstate. Surrounding the sculpture are three granite boulders, each with an evocative word carved into it; Strength, hope and rejuvenation.
The Sculpture resides directly outside the Cancer Treatment Center at Aurora hospital and the intention behind Blossom was to evoke a strong presence of tranquility and restoration within the patients using the cancer treatment center. The curved lines gracing upward to the sky is accented by the bright fiery center of the glass stamens. The skyward exuberance of the vertical structure is balanced and grounded by the presence of the three emblematic boulders. Patients can view the sculpture from inside or walk around the sculpture while receiving treatment from the center.
During the conceptual phase of Blossom there were two goals that were discussed. 1. The sculpture must be beautiful and appropriate for a hospital that would withstand many years of harsh weather. 2. The design and content of the sculpture must exude a calm, peaceful and restorative nature for the patients using the Vince Lambardi Cancer Treatment Center.
These goals were considered at every turn of the design phase for the sculpture. I needed to consider that the patients who would be viewing the sculpture would be in an abnormally high state of vulnerability and may be strongly affected by whatever pieces of art they encounter. This fact made it even more important for us to meet our goals.
In order for Blossom to be a success I need to work closely with the Aurora hospital staff, my own fabrication team and a professional glass blowing studio located in Princeton WI.
Initially I worked with leaders at Aurora hospital to hone in on the goals for the project. We went back and forth through a process of conceptual development before we moved forward with a particular design. We wanted to make sure that our goals would be manifested through the design, materials and aesthetic nature of the work.
I collaborated with Wes Hunting of Hunting Studios in Princeton Wisconsin to create the hand-blown stamens at the interior of Blossom. He listened to my vision and I stood next to him and provided direction as he dipped, rolled then blew the stamens out. It was thrilling to work with Wes!
Blossom is intended to grow and change throughout its life, much like an actual living blossom tree might. The materials were selected specifically to act in this regard. Corten steel is also considered weathering steel and instead of flaking and degrading over time corten steel that as it patina's will often change it's earthy color profile throughout its lifetime. Copper is another material that as it oxidizes, develops tones of green and blue as it matures. Once could say that Blossom is forever in bloom.