Forty Feet Down - CODAworx

Forty Feet Down

Submitted by Judith & Daniel Caldwell

Client: Spokane Community College and the Washington State Art in Public Places Program

Location: Spokane, WA, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $80,000

Project Team

concept, design, fabrication, installation

Judith Caldwell

concept, design, fabrication, installation

Daniel Caldwell

certified welding

Ken Johnson


Bubbly bronze water sprays burst from the top of an aged and textured copper-nickel column as if traveling up a pipe under pressure. The 12’ tall sculpture references the ten-trillion-gallon aquifer that lies just 40 feet below grade at the location of the installation. Inspiration for this artwork was drawn from the open-loop geothermal system that helps to heat and cool a major new addition to Spokane Community College. Instead of returning to the aquifer unchanged—as the water in the geothermal system does—our bronze ‘water’ is falling to earth in bronze ‘water drops’ embedded in the surface of the small 48” diameter plaza surrounding the sculpture, and in the circular cast bronze adornment at the base of the column.
The water sprays are polychromed in shades of blue and white, harmonizing with the blue sky and white clouds often reflected in the wall of windows of the adjacent building.
Including the ‘water drops,’ a total of 45 individual bronze castings were created and assembled to make this artwork.


The importance of water for nearly all living things cannot be overstated. Life on earth in its marvelous and myriad forms is only possible because of the presence of water. Many parts of our planet are now suffering from drought and water shortages. In these difficult times we are profoundly aware of the wealth that much of our Pacific Northwest region enjoys in the form of this precious resource. The City of Spokane is especially blessed, as it sits atop the enormous Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie aquifer and has one of the most secure and abundant water sources of any city on the planet. Forty Feet Down is intended to be a tribute to that blessing.