Faces of Rondo, Victoria Station

Submitted by Foster Willey

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Project

Client: Metropolitan Council, St. Paul, MN

Location: St. Paul, United States

Completion date: 15/02/2014

Artwork budget: $184,000

Project Team

Art Consultant

Hadi Sajadi

Hadi And Structures

Artist

Foster Willey

Foster Willey Sculptor, LLC

Overview

“Faces of Rondo”,
Victoria Station is one of eighteen stations along the new Green Line connecting downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis in Minnesota. “Faces of Rondo” commemorates the individuals past and present, who have contributed to the historic Rondo community, to the city of St. Paul and beyond.
SCR & SER Cabinets: 12’ L x 6’ W x 8’ H at 4 locations, Artwork dimensions vary.
Materials Used:
Terra Cotta, hand made glazed portrait and narrative tiles,
Precast Architectural Concrete, cast portrait and narrative panels,
Stainless steel frames for freestanding infill panels,
Manganese iron-spot and glazed thin brick masonry veneer.

Goals

Victoria station’s is located adjacent to the historic community of Rondo in St. Paul. The citizens there have contributed significantly to national causes of civil rights, labor unions and regional culture. The community was very interested in having the artwork tell the story of their efforts. It was the goal of the artist with the support of the Metropolitan Council to commemorate this important neighborhood. Sixteen over life size portraits sculpted in low relief acknowledge each person and their contributions. The community and the Station Art Committee were directly involved in the selection of these individuals. The station artwork also includes narrative tile that reflect the changing history of the neighborhood. The station design allowed for very specific areas to be developed with artistic elements.

Process

The artist collaborated with architect Guy Willey on the project and together they carefully reviewed all the design elements and material options in order to achieve a balanced and active art experience for passengers. The artwork was carefully integrated into the architecture of the platform shelters and cabinets. The portraits were fabricated in the studio from photographs, most of which were taken by the artist. These relief sculptures were sculpted in clay, molded and then hand cast in Terra Cotta and Precast Architectural Concrete. Thin brick veneer covers the primary structures of each platform, accented by a thin blue line and creating a striking unified appearance. Selected statements were engraved into the slate colored thin brick offering subtle context for the larger portraits. The project also involved working closely with Hadi Sajadi our team structural engineer, various product consultants, and subcontractors. The end results of this collaboration is a communal portrait that is both durable and endearing.