Submitted by Deedee Morrison


Client: ARISE Janesville - Forward Foundation

Location: Janesville, WI, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $1,250,000

Project Team


Jon Helt

Springfield Welding

Bridge Deck Boulders & Seating

Nick Schueller

Cold Spring USA

Project Manager

Tim Weber

Weber Co.

Acid Etched Stainless Steel Tables and Chairs

Kyle Rebechini

RSI Design

Bridge Sculpture Glass

Charles Hansen

J C Moag

Donor Wall Glass

James Cole

Agnora Glass

LED Lighting, Sound System

Matt Bouck

Martin Lighting - Vision 2 Marketing


“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”
John Muir – Naturalist

Scope of Work:
Pedestrian Bridge Sculpture – 36′ x 36′ x 26′ – Painted Steel and Glass W/LED Lighting
Handrail – 230 Linear Feet – Laser Cut and Painted Steel and Stainless Steel W/LED Lighting
Bridge Deck Seating – 2 Granite Seating Boulders, 6 Wooden Benches and 2 Granite and 6 Acid-Etched Stainless Steel Tables and with Chairs
Donor Wall – Glass, Aluminum W/LED Lighting

Urban resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. In downtown Janesville, Resilience is designed to be a catalyst for the other redevelopment and revitalization efforts, bringing Janesville’s focus back to the Rock River. Formerly viewed as the backdrop to the city, the Janesville riverfront can now be embraced as the inspiration for unity along the East and West banks, attained through openness and immensity. Anchoring Janesville’s deep roots, the artist’s vision and design weaves together elements of nature, history, agriculture and industrial form in a walkable and intimate way.


Morrison’s public art, titled Resilience, unites research, sophisticated design and complex engineering to create a powerful sculpture concept envisioned on a monolithic scale.The Resilience sculpture encompasses every element along the bridge deck and is envisioned to be the catalyst to bridge both sides of the community together and forge a new existence for the future of Janesville.

ourney across the bridge and enhances the pedestrian experience. The intention of the artist is to create a curated space that fosters enjoyment and reflection; stories of the six themes are told with words on the ground a place to catch glimpses of Janesville’s heritage and history from the East and West sides: agriculture, industry, merchants, technology/innovation, arts/culture and civic engagement. At night an integrated lighting design enhances the entire structure and pedestrian experience along the river walk and bridge deck.  

Soaring an impressive 25 feet in height and 230 feet in length, the sculpture and handrail are inspired by the mathematical laws and principles found within our natural world. The forms along the way incorporate shapes and patterns found in nature.


Both sides of the bridge sculpture structure are mirror images, constructed in tandem and supporting one another as they assume curvature and gain height. The tree branches grow naturally across the bridge deck resisting right angles and straight lines. Stepping onto the bridge is like entering an enchanted grove, as twisting pipes seemingly grow out of the bridge deck, splitting into branches that support the vaulted structure.

The bridge sculpture and glass leaf panels were inspired by the twenty six native and endemic trees found throughout Wisconsin and many growing in the Rock River basin. The design intent is to create a dynamic space influenced by the natural environment of Janesville in a way that connects people with the importance of their natural world in their community.

28,000 pounds of steel pipes seemingly grow out of each side of the bridge deck and are bent to form complex curvilinear surfaces and join each other in the middle. Each pipe gracefully bent, an intricate pattern woven across the bridge deck and then adorned with glass leaves, encouraging people to look up. The glass leaves are laminated in varying shades of green that emphasize the organic form and an ecological connection to place.

Additional Information

The ecology of the bridge sculpture is to encourage a relationship between the pedestrian and their interconnected environment; creating a beautiful cultural destination that makes the bridge a symbol of renewal and an expression of how Janesville can restore balance to the landscape downtown. Humans and nature can co-exists in productive harmony, a symbol of our ability to learn from our past and move toward a more sustainable collaborative environment. Scope of Work:    - Pedestrian Bridge Sculpture - 30’L x 30’L x 26’H - Steel Pipe and Glass with LED Lighting  - Handrail - 460 Linear Feet - Laser Cut and Painted Steel and Stainless Steel with LED Lighting - Bridge Deck Seating - 2 Granite Seating Boulders, 6 Wooden Benches and 2 Granite and Stainless Steel Tables/6Chairs  - Donor Wall - 18’L x 8’H Laser Cut and Painted Aluminum with Etched Glass