Submitted by Zak Ostrowski

Client: U.S. Forest Service

Location: Las Vegas, NV, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $50,000

Project Team


Zak Ostrowski


Deborah Bergin

Lucchesi Galati Architects, Inc.


Craig Galati

Lucchesi Galati Architects, Inc.


CROSSCUT is a 20-0″ diameter ceramic tile mural of a massive tree crosscut section. There are over 1000 unique pieces that were handmade and hand glazed. Native trees within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest along with the colors and textures within the natural environment were influential to the final design. The piece is located at the main outdoor gathering space and serves as a connection between the Education Center and Visitor Center. CROSSCUT was created to work with the new buildings, integration within the site, and socially for the numerous visitors that will experience the space.


The intention of this Call for Artists was for the design and construction of integrated/structural art for the project. The artistic elements were mandated to become permanent integrated components of the building, site , grounds or interpretive elements that typically would be installed as part of the facility construction. The artists were given a design narrative, architectural, site and landscape drawings to describe the project vision. The final art was selected based on the design enhancement to the existing project features.


The Forest Service designated an Art Selection Chair who was responsible to build and manage a Selection Panel comprised of local representatives in the field of art. Panelists were invited and committed to a process to develop a call for qualifications. From the responses of interest a shortlist of artists were asked to submit proposals for appropriate art for this project. Artists were asked to demonstrate their understanding of the site and project and discuss the project approach and ability to collaborate with the architects, owner and building contractor. Zak Ostrowski was selected to produce a custom mosaic tile installation and exterior site benches. The proposed art pieces enhanced the existing project design but were further tailored once his contract was awarded. Zak, with input from the Owner and Architects located and customized the designs to fully integrate the art.

Additional Information

Every art piece for the project was handmade locally in Las Vegas, NV. Project materials included: ceramics, GFRC (lightweight concrete), steel, reclaimed pine and fir, shou-sugi ban (burnt wood), and paint.