Native Color at Unity Square

Submitted by Amie Jacobsen

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Client: City of Bartlesville, OK

Location: Bartlesville, OK, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $150,000

Project Team

artist/designer and fabricator

Amie Jacobsen

Amie Jacobsen Art and Design

Custom cast and blown glass

Dierk Van Keppel

Rock Cottage Glassworks

Overview

Commissioned by the city of Bartlesville, OK, “Native Color” consists of 9 stainless steel and cast glass flowers, ranging from 8 1.5 to 12 feet tall. Inspiration by the state wildflower of Oklahoma, Gaillardia pulchella, commonly known as “Indian blanket.” The piece is meant to celebrate the strong Native American history of the area and honor the flora and fauna of the prairie. Three honeybees, toiling atop the flowers, are another state symbol and represent communities working together.

The piece also includes an interactive water feature, with water jets spraying from the ground, allowing children to play among the flowers in the summer months.

Goals

The goals of this project were to create an interactive sculpture with a water feature that would serve as a centerpiece in the newly renovated Unity Square at Town Center. It is meant to celebrate the unity of the community as a “Third Place” – an urban destination where every person is welcome, regardless of age, gender, finances, culture or lifestyle.

Process

The process began by submitting concept designs to the city and meeting with the city committee to discuss the feasibility of the project. Once the design was finalized, I then worked with the architecture firm who was responsible for the design of the park where the piece was to go, and establish a landscaping plan to compliment both the piece and the park.

Once the details of the sculptures were finalized and build plans developed, I collaborated with Rock Cottage Glassworks to develop the custom cast glass petal and blown glass bee tails. I made custom glass molds for each size and shape of petal needed and delivered them to Rock Cottage. I then worked with them to get the coloring right, as well as size and shape of the bee tails. While the glass was being made, my team and I worked on fabricating the steel flower stems, leaves and flower heads. Once compete, the glass was fit to the framework, and adjustments were made where needed.