Client: The Emerge Center
Location: Baton Rouge, United States
Completion date: 2019
Artwork budget: $15,000
Brad Michael Bourgoyne
The Emerge Center
The Emerge Center is a speech and hearing therapy center focused on children with autism and individuals with communication challenges. The sculpture was commissioned for their entry and waiting area, and is a suspended mobile comprising a 3d printed acrylic figure and hand-painted thermoformed acrylic leaves and butterflies on an aluminum framework. It measures approximately 14' h. x 9' x 8' and hangs 7' off the ground. The original intent of the project was to represent a child emerging from a cocoon of non-communication and isolation through the therapies offered by the center.
"We are surrounded by images every where we look every day of our lives. Everyone deserves to see themselves reflected back in their own environment through pictures, movies, music, or stories. I want any neuroatypical kid to look up at my sculpture and see themselves among the butterflies. Soaring, Blooming. Transforming. I want them to gaze up and feel the truth of this piece lift them with a sense of recognition. They are seen. They are celebrated. They are emerging."
I worked closely with the staff and a speech and hearing therapist to develop the composition digitally using 3D modeling and rendering software to not only clarify their vision for the piece, but to also create something with which their clients would identify, and would visually integrate with the architectural space of the building.