Client: Fix Development
Location: Milwaukee, WI, United States
Completion date: 2015
Artwork budget: $15,000
The Clock Shadow Building is a project that utilizes sustainable power and materials to create a positive work environment for community-based organizations. Green Ribbon is a five-foot wide “ribbon” suspended from a custom hanger on the fifth floor ceiling that extends 75-feet to the first floor lobby where it is tethered to a railroad tie. The piece is a reproduction of the original oil on wood (also featured in the lobby), printed on a continuous piece of fabric. The suspended art is the focal point of the lobby, telling the layered story of the sustainable resources incorporated in the building.
The goal of this collaboration was to make art an integral part of the development process rather than an afterthought to fill blank space. The Clock Shadow Building is a radically sustainable development, so the intent was to subtly communicate the sustainable story with art that is educational and inspiring. Each portion of the Ribbon visually explains a sustainable resource. Nearby signage offers further written explanation of the art installation and resources. Geothermal is depicted on the entry floor. As you ascend the staircase, you wind your way up to another energy source on each level, moving from Bio, Hydro, and Wind, culminating with Solar at the top. This project is about enhancing the community with a building that respects its footprint within the neighborhood. The Green Ribbon commission demonstrates that respect by reflecting the wonders of the natural environment. It illustrates the power of nature and an interconnectedness to the web of life. The size and scale of the piece was designed to perfectly suit the space; the concept was given life long before construction began. The piece was then translated into a comprehensive art and signage program that provides the heart and soul of the interior design.
This was a truly collaborative process involving the artist, developer, architect, fabricator and contractor. The idea generation and concept development started a year prior to the project breaking ground, visualizing the impact of the art before the space was designed for even existed. After extensive research and scaling trials for the full-size piece, Jennifer Espenscheid took three weeks to paint the smaller wood boards. High resolution images were then spliced together by a colleague and printed on fabric. Working with PCI Creative, Espenscheid designed and installed the suspension system.
The ingenious team worked through details and logistics and addressed changes as the building progressed through construction. The height of the installation was a challenge as the team worked through the unknowns of how the hanger and fabric would behave upon completion.
Green Ribbon was designed and reproduced to create a powerful, clear and meaningful experience for all who enjoy the space. The imagery was reproduced at varying sizes on a variety of materials and installed throughout the building to provide interior and exterior signage, educational panels, directories and vibrant relevant art. It inspired all the community-based businesses to be thoughtful in their own spaces and support the overall aesthetic and mission of the building. Each hired Espenscheid to complete their wayfinding and interior signage in order to match the sustainable energy source of their level in the building.