Client: City of Ann Arbor and Arts Alliance
Location: Ann Arbor, MI, United States
Completion date: 2015
Artwork budget: $80,000
Victoria Fuller Studio
Baer Associates Engineers, Ltd.
This public sculpture is a fan made out of recycled canoes. The design resembles a sun rising on the horizon, a spread of peacock or turkey feathers, a flower unfolding, or a native American headdress. The holes are a design element that renders the canoes useless, and allows wind to pass through. Boats symbolize passage from one world into the next. It is a portal and symbol of passage, unfolding, flowering.
I was asked to reflect the region and history of the Huron River. Canoes have been important on the river as a form of passage and commerce for native cultures, as well as future inhabitants, now using canoes as recreation. The location is next to the small craft boat launch and paths for hiking and biking.
I created the design of the fan shape made from canoes, and purchased the canoes from an outfitting company in Upper Michigan, My fabricator is Peter Davidson from Kingdom Bronze in Chicago, and my engineer is Ben Baer, also from Chicago. Peter Davidson helped me take the dents out of the canoes, and cut out and weld the hole pattern. Ben Baer helped design the base and structural components to make the artwork safe for public display. Peter Davidson helped transport the parts and he and a local crew helped assemble it in the park on the crest of a hill.
Some images show the process of the sculpture installation on the site in Gallup park in Ann Arbor, next to the Huron River.