Client: City of Tracy Art Commission
Location: Tracy, CA, United States
Completion date: 2010
Artwork budget: $18,500
Surland Development Company
City Staff, Parks and Community Services, Transportation Div.,
Public Art Agent
Cultural Arts Program Manager
David B. Anthony
Far West Steel
Field Spirit developed into a contemporary 3D mural representing Tracy’s Agricultural Heritage and includes images of indigenous Northern Yukut Indian life. Laser cut 1/2″ plate steel and pigmented lacquer combine for a rhythmic experience in cut out images typical of the Central Valley. I used half inch plate to give more power to the over all triangular shape by making the surface ridged and less distorted during the fabrication process. Field Spirit was designed in three sections for transportation and installing and bolts through the West Entry wall and to the floor of the new Transit Station.
Artist's were selected who worked in steel. They were encouraged to use images base on transportation and trains. The new art was to be integrated into both interior and exterior spaces. (see below ) The transit station was under construction while I was building my art work and mounting designs were altered as the building neared its completion. Instead of mounting my work to plywood installed under the sheet rock I used 8 inch bolts mounting it through the wall.
I gave William, The Art Commission and the Building Designers the option to make Field Spirit a stand alone outside sculpture or interior wall piece. This gave them flexibility while integrating my work into the architecture and geometry of the building. I was encouraged to make the work as big as the space would allow and also to increase the amount of agricultural information if possible. I also researched and was provide with images of Yukut Indians and their several types of abodes and modified my work. Once I had a completed and approved line drawing of the finished design and saw the amount of detail I turned to the computer and technology for help and created an extensive dwg. file. The work was so completely designed almost no grinding of the edges was needed and only a small amount of slag was removed. This robot created edge became a excellent surprise expression of the laser cutting process circa 2010. My natural steel surface was burnished with a wire wheel and soften for touching. Beautifully colored tile around a near by drinking fountain made my request for limited color use possible.
The feel and quality of this piece of steel needs to be experience by standing in front of it. Its rich deep natural surface explodes when direct sun light hits its select pigmented areas. This project was completed in June 2010.