Intervals

Submitted by Rae Mahaffey

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Client: Washington Arts Commission

Location: Tacoma, WA, United States

Completion date: 2010

Artwork budget: $52,000

Project Team

Artist

Rae Mahaffey

Public Art Agent

Mike Sweney

Washington Arts Commission

Overview

Fifteen fused glass panels were installed in the commons area of a newly built middle school. The concept for the panel designs were drawn from the students’ environment at the school, and suggest academics, sports, games, and musical activities. Each panel varies in size but are approximately 20 x 26 inches. They are suspended in a windowed area to benefit from the natural light, and the view of Mount Rainier.

Goals

My goal as an artist was to create an artwork that would engage the students and motivate them to think about color and pattern. Their new building was designed with an emphasis on sustainability, and the artwork is meant to compliment that concept, take advantage of the high ceiling, and expanse of windows.

Process

The administrator of the project oversaw the details of the project, keeping abreast of it’s developments while allowing me freedom in it’s design. Being that I was working in glass, and it was to be suspended above the students, there was significant oversight given to it’s safety, and engineering.

Additional Information

The presentation to the students and faculty was particularly gratifying. The students responded enthusiastically, and asked questions that felt as if they were observing and experiencing art in new ways. Some of the teachers created assignments based on the artwork, and the artist’s role. Those essays were sent to me, and some of them are the most honest, and insightful reflections I have had on my public work.