Dynamic DNA

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Client: ICR Discovery Center

Location: DALLAS, TX, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $250,000

Project Team

Artist

Christy Coltrin

Brad Oldham Sculpture

Artist

Brad Oldham

Brad Oldham Sculpture

Overview

“Dynamic DNA” is an invitation to contemplate one of life’s greatest mysteries – the source and sustainability of an intelligent universe. The scale of the work itself, especially in relation to the actual size of a strand of DNA, can’t help but capture a viewer’s imagination and instill a sense of wonder about how Nature works her magic. Made of mirror-polished, 316 marine-grade stainless steel and standing at a towering 26 feet tall by 10 feet wide and 11 feet deep, the sculpture welcomes visitors to the ICR Discovery Center in a bold and enticing way.

Goals

The goal of this faith-based museum is to show that religion and science can coexist and to challenge conventional scientific thinking. While remaining transparent to its Christian roots, the museum leadership wanted to create a space to welcome those of all faiths. The monumental sculpture inspired by the recognizable shape of DNA immediately greets visitors and creates a warm and pleasing campus environment. The artist team and their studio brought their artistry and skills to the challenge to create "Dynamic DNA" from initial pencil sketches to tightening the last bolt on the sculpture base.

Process

The architect and builder for the ICR Discovery Center in Dallas asked Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin to give their take on a DNA-inspired sculpture to create a broadly engaging welcome to the museum. Throughout the process, the artists remained true to their beliefs that the sculpture should be accessible and engaging when creating a sense of place and helping develop the narrative for the community and location. The reflective stainless steel sculpture is installed upon a water table with underwater and environmental lights. The sculpture picks up ambient light and colors throughout the day, and the movement of the water creates playful dancing of light play on the sculpture at night.

Additional Information

More than ever, we believe there is room for many opinions and tolerance for people of differing faiths. When accepting this commission, we were reminded of what Thomas Jefferson told his friend William Hamilton in 1800, “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” We created a sculpture that found an elegant balance between open mindedness, fine-art, science, and faith.