Prairie Light and Color

Submitted by Koryn Rolstad

0

Client: FTD Fastrack I-225 Rail Line Fitzsimmons Station Foundation

Location: Aurora, CO, United States

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $99,500

Project Team

Artist

Koryn Rolstad

Public Art Agent

FTD Fastrack I-225 Rail Line Fitzsimmons Station Foundation

Overview

‘Prairie Light & Color’ starts at the walkway as a grouping of tree like forms ‘growing out of the ground as representation of planted arboreal elements. The rest of the area is ‘planted’ with the large oversized 150 ‘Prairie Grass’ elements. These ‘Grasses’ are made of powder-coated aluminum tubing arcs and populated with the colored translucent leave heads.I kept the solution simple using all recycled materials such as powder coated aluminum (70% recycled) tree structures along with the use of colored eco-resin PETG or Acrylite (40% recycled) elements (which are over 7 times more structural than tempered glass).

Goals

Prairie Light & Color’ starts at the walkway as a grouping of tree like forms ‘growing out of the ground as representation of planted arboreal elements. This concept shows two types of natural elements – Grasses & Trees - depicting movement, ambient color and shadowing, along with a wry visual interest with some wit and fun. The shapes of the grass forms are as if the wind is blowing showing a visual movement, which are counterpoint to the solid structures of the trees setting a gateway feeling for the site. The colored panels on both the grasses and trees portray a circulating visual palette with its multi colors reflecting light and shadow towards the dramatic Colorado sky.

The ‘grass’ and ‘tree’ colored panel elements are laser cut forms from structural resin, refracting and shadowing the ambient day lighting of various colors on the ground. The groupings are sited along the open area covering the 400 feet allowing for changes of viewpoints as the train grows closer and farther away forming completely different views from many vantage points. In this case over a large area and while the viewer is seated and moving at the same time.

Process

The public art installations I have produced are interactive and site-specific with the intent to convey a community voice and iconic appeal. Combining the philosophies of art and design construction, I use strong forms, images, and lighting to emphasize architecture and natural surroundings. My criterion remains the same throughout: “that the enjoyment and impact of the installations relate to the people who visit, work and interact within these environments.” As a public artist, I involve the community by forming my understanding of the site and its role to support visual goals. By giving voice to all stakeholders, the artwork can be accessible and responsive, extending my visual language while connecting with those who interact with their environment. My background in architecture, engineering, and fine arts has lead to a philosophy of extensive exploration implementing a ‘kit of parts’ concept, incorporating components into elements, installed as continuous systems for larger coverage and visual interest.