Drawing Room

Submitted by Ralph Helmick

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Client: Valley Metro Rail

Location: Mesa, AZ, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $255,000

Project Team

Industry Resource

Kevin Manning

Junoworks

Industry Resource

Roger Smith Lighting Design

Overview

Drawing Room 2015 50’ high 11’ diameter
stainless steel; silver-painted steel; LED’s

The site serves as a front door to both Mesa City Hall and to the city’s major cultural venue, the Mesa Art Center.
Situated on the entry ramp to Center Street Station, Drawing Room is a combination of civic icon, outdoor room, esthetic instrument and graphic gallery of Mesa’s citizenry.
Its walls are comprised of graphic silhouettes of an inclusive array of actual Mesa citizens. Each profile occupies an oval frame that connects with its neighbors, the collective creating a soaring web of community.

Goals

A central client goal was to humanize the light rail experience. One of my own goals was to forge an inclusive portrait of the community. I also wanted to provide for a viewer experience looking up to the sky from inside the sculpture, where one might draw parallels between the expansive mysteries of the universe and our quest for fellow-feeling here on earth.

Process

I worked closely with an excellent fabricator--Junoworks of Denver, CO--during all stages of the commission. My team and I also forged connections with city citizens during marathon photo sessions which provided the pool for selecting and adapting the profiles.