LGBT Community Center Art Installation

Submitted by Andrew Reach

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Client: LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

Location: Cleveland, OH, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $6,000

Project Team

Artist

Andrew Reach

Architect

David Thal

WMF Architects

Executive Director of LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland

Phyllis Harris

LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

Overview

TThe LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland’s 15,000 square-feet, LEED Certified 2-story building, is a safe haven to the LGBT Community. The “Lounge” is an informal space for people to meet, have coffee, use the wi-fi and work on a laptop, tablet. It’s a corner space open to the entrance lobby, and on street frontage with a large expanse of storefront glass. The building was designed by architect, David Thal of Weber Murphy Fox. He targeted a series of walls to be differentiated with different colors, the lounge wall to be a deep fuchsia. This wall was also designated to be the location of a large artwork that would be commissioned and completed in time for the official opening of the building to the public. I was honored to have been selected.

The artwork I created, titled “Fifty Three Rhombuses”, is a 10’w x 4’-8”h uv cured inkjet print on dibond composite aluminum panel. Following the perimeter diamonds (rhombuses in Euclidian geometry), the panel is cut-out on cnc router. Mounted on a tubular aluminum frame set in from the edge, the panel floats off the wall.

Goals

Now that the new center would have a street presence, having been in a basement for years, it was decided the location for the artwork would be in the Lounge space, occupying half of the street frontage on the ground floor. The artwork at this location would give it public visibility from the street. This idea of visibility is what the center is all about; being proud and visible in the community to help make a difference in people’s lives. The visibility of the art within and outside the building is a welcoming symbol to everyone, reinforcing the centers goal to be a bridge between the LGBT community and the community at large.

Process

Printing on dibond aluminum panel would be ideal because the panel comes in sizes up to 10’ x 10’, is easily cut on a cnc router and is very strong and rigid. I did multiple test prints, getting the color right and calibrating the router for the precision accuracy required. Two colors meet precisely at the corner point of the diamonds so it requires the router to be extremely precise. A final test print was cut precisely. It also showed the subtle shading between the rhombuses, giving them a sense of relief. This test print revealed one problem however. The points of the diamonds were sharp. Left as is wouldn’t be safe. Instructions were sent to router to cut the points with a slight radius making them safe to the touch.