Client: Clark County, McCarran Int'l Airport
Location: Las Vegas, NV, United States
Completion date: 2012
Artwork budget: $250,000
Talley Fisher Studio
Larson and Associates
“Blue Arroyo” is the third suspended sculpture in a suite of three designed by my father, Rob Fisher and me. We worked together on the designs through 2006, when he died unexpectedly. I made the final presentation two months later and was awarded the contract for “Desert Sunrise”, “Waterfall” and “Blue Arroyo”, all located in the east wing of the new Terminal 3 for McCarran Int'l Airport. “Blue Arroyo” begins as hundreds of feet of bead chain from “Waterfall” spill down the window wall from the floor above, creating a suspended rushing arroyo of water 75' long.
The goals were to suspend a large, impressive artwork over the heads of travelers entering the East end baggage claim area on the first floor and weaving around columns in the space. As with "Desert Sunrise", the integration of the work into the architecture was a formidable challenge. We needed to drill through the floor above to make the connecting and support points for the grids that hold over 75 powder coated perforated aluminum "streams" of water. The problem was the possibility of hitting wiring, ductwork, sprinkler system and other infrastructure that might have been imbedded in the concrete floor. With the help of imaging technology, we were able to drill through and set eye-bolts up through to the ceiling of the lower floor. "Blue Arroyo" is 28'H x 20'W x 75'L, a fluid, river-like sculpture in a signature blue color made especially for Rob Fisher Sculpture. It references the arroyos of the West that fill rapidly after rain and are dry when there is no rainfall.
After the award of the commissions, I immediately contacted an engineer, recommended to me by my contact at Clark County Dept. of Aviation. Michael Keegan's expertise and willingness to work with an artist was of enormous value. He helped lay out the technical plans for the suspension systems, weight loads, and so on. Patrick Larson of Larson and Associates, Las Vegas, was hired to install the suspension system for Blue Arroyo (first floor). This included getting imaging from the concrete ceiling (the flooring of the second floor) in order to set eyebolts from which the grids that hold the rushing “streams” of water are hung, and in the process not sever any electrical or other imbedded infrastructure. Steve Enger of Rigging Technologies, Las Vegas, then brought in his crew, with Jody Lyman as Lead Rigger, to suspend the sculptures. It took seven weeks to install these three works. The coordination, collaboration and brainstorming between the architect, installation companies, the artist, and the airport personnel were key to the successful (and sometimes, challenging) installation.
These three sculptures were by far the largest and most complex commission I have done, after the Indianapolis Airport in 2008. It required so much flexibility in decision making, working carefully with other companies and personalities, and careful attention to getting the highest quality of artwork components possible. Each sculpture had its own process, which I have discussed, but it was important that they work together as a whole. I am proud of what I have accomplished and how I have honored my father's legacy and built my own reputation in the process.