Client: Kansas City Chiefs Football Club
Location: Kansas City, MO, United States
Completion date: 2013
Artwork budget: $75,000
Dierk Van Keppel
Rock Cottage Glassworks Inc.
A. Zahner Co.
Kansas City Chiefs, Sharron Hunt
This public art competition was awarded to me in January 2013. The piece was designed to hang above the escalators leading up to the Stadium Club area. The piece is comprised of blown and fused glass rondels held together back to back and suspended by stainless steel cables that pass through stand offs that connect the glass.
The art committee did not want any literal football imagery. Part of the call for artists referred to works that reflect the beauty of this region. The rivers, the ozark hills and trees. The prairies and the big sky. My desire was to tie something important to the team, their colors, to the red dawn we often see here in the morning. I also think that the theme was very important to the team and its' fans during a rebuilding year. There were more than a dozen works collected in this initial phase and the teams owners see the arts as extremely important to integrating into the Kansas City community along with the youth education and exercise programs that they also sponsor.
When I submitted my initial idea for this project it was literally a glass football. The art committee really liked my resume but they did not want a "football." They asked me to contact Sharron Hunt. I called Sharron and she shared her interest in the beauty of the landscape. We began to trade rough sketches back and forth and arrived at an idea together that satisfied the art committee:"Red Dawn" I work wit A. Zahner Co. and we began to design the attachment and suspension system. The idea was to hold the fused glass panels back to back with stand offs. Stand offs are commonly used to mount plate glass rail systems. We then drilled through the center of the standoffs so that the cable would pass through and the weight would bear on on the connection and the load would be uniformly spread through the glass. The panels were also coated on the back side with flex tech. Flex Tech is a chemical epoxy that holds the glass together in case of breakage. Given that this piece was installed above an escalator with thousands of rowdy football fans involved, public safety became a paramount factor.
My intention with all my work is to create something original that excites me. More then that I love being told how much my client loves living with the work, or that the clients friends or patrons want to know who made the work. I find that certain people want real quality in their lives. They want to be a part of the design process, they want to know the maker. These special people understand that they are part of the stewardship of creativity by establishing a provenance to work with an artist to see their vision come into being.