Client: El Paso Zoo
Location: El Paso, TX, United States
Completion date: 2016
Artwork budget: $150,000
The Zoo was opening a new area in the Africa section and wanted a sculpture that would speak to a diverse audience of all ages. The giraffe image is first seen from about 100 feet away. Upon closer viewing, additional animals hidden in the pattern are able to be detected; some easy and others harder to identify, creating a seek & find experience to be enjoyed by all. Different images stand out or retreat with the changes of the sun throughout the day.
The goal for this artwork is to engage visitors, the Zoo staff, and to excite donors attending the gala events to be held in the new plaza and Event Tent. Integration into the Africa section was critical, as the sculpture is the focal point of the new Kopje Plaza. "Lmara" means giraffe; a Samburu word of north-central Kenya which means spotted, dappled, sparkling.
The Zoo director had very specific ideas about what animals would be part of the piece, and we worked together to determine what would be included. The corten steel wall and faux artisan rocks were designed by the artist to create an ideal backdrop for the bright highly finished stainless sculpture, while also tying into the existing environment.
The work is mounted on custom built hardware, which is designed to be virtually invisible while permanently holding the 17 panels that make up the artwork.