Blossoming

Submitted by Cindy Kessler

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Client: University of Toledo

Location: Toledo, OH, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $60,000

Project Team

Artist

Cindy & Bob Kessler

Kessler Studios, Inc.

Industry Resource

Dan Wissman

Schaefer Inc.

Architect

Daniel Klett

University of Toledo

Art Consultant

Ken Emmerick

Ohio Arts Council

Overview

Dimensions: 14′ diameter, x 9’6″ tall, suspended 32″ from ceiling.

The planting of a seed creates a ripple effect, as does the sharing of information, insight and wisdom; education’s very essence. The concept of a seed is represented by the small forms hanging from the center of the artwork. Six large “petals” unfold above them with an exuberance of potential. The movement within the composition starts with the seed forms, moving the eye upward and outward. This is symbolic of students coming to the University of Toledo, rising “upward” through their academic programs of choice.

Goals

The design was asked to be non-degree specific, as the building has changed purposes through the years. The committee also wanted the upper-story view out the windows onto a large commons to not be wholly blocked. Finally, given the history of glass production in Toledo, they wanted something that acknowledged that tradition.

The Kesslers resolved these requests by creating a work that had movement and excitement, symbolizing the college experience. The nature of the design and placement of the sculpture still allows for the abundant western light to enter the atrium and retains the view. The material, glass & steel, addressed the heritage of the University and the Toledo community.

Process

This sculpture involved a great deal of collaboration from many vital contributors; everything from structural engineers, to commercial glass fabricators (for the backing glass), custom-blown art glass (from Lamberts in Germany), a decorative welder, silicon adhesive manufacturers, and the architectural and physical plant folks at the University.