Enchanted Forest

Submitted by Meltdown Studio

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Client: Midwestern University

Location: Downer's Grove, IL, United States

Completion date: 2005

Artwork budget: $145,000

Project Team

Industry Resource

Derek Nadeau

Meltdown Glass Art & Design

Architect

Jeremy Jones

DWL Architects

Artist

BJ Katz

Overview

“Enchanted Forest”. Midwestern University Chapel, Downer’s Grove, IL. Cast-glass sculptural mural in rotunda consisting of 24 panels with cold-applied pearlized paints. 96’ W x 9’ H. 3/ 2005 – 5/2005. $145,000 for art glass.
These panels represent an uplifting fantasy forest with abstract imagery that is evocative of the local nature and typography. Custom textural elements in the cast glass blend with the multicolored and multi-layered translucent paints.

Goals

The Chancellor of Midwestern University wanted uplifting art panels for the chapel in the new science building on the Downer's Grove campus in IL. The art component for this chapel was paramount for the success of the liturgical space as a place of worship for all faiths. No specific religious iconography was acceptable as the students and faculty were of all faiths. Abstract designs reflecting natural splendor was chosen as an awe inspiring concept without any iconography.

Process

Artist BJ Katz worked closely with Jeremy Jones of DWL Architects of Phoenix, AZ and the Chancellor of Midwestern University to create this uplifting enchanted forest landscape reflecting the light dappled forests of northern Illinois. Prior to the final approved design by the Chancellor, multiple sample panels were fabricated to show the potential of the art project.