“Skyward” at the Chaplain Schmitt Island Veteran’s Memorial - CODAworx

“Skyward” at the Chaplain Schmitt Island Veteran’s Memorial

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Client: City of Dubuque, Iowa

Location: Dubuque, IA, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $350,000

Project Team

Artist

The Art Studio

RDG Planning & Design

Owner

The City of Dubuque

Iowa

Landscape Architect

RDG Planning & Design

Lighting Design

RDG Planning & Design

Engineering

WHKS & Co.

Metal

Cox Design and Metal Fabrication, Inc.

Installation

Conlon Construction Co.

Overview

A soaring spiral of steel beckons from the end of a curving footbridge and evokes the final moments of Father Aloysius H. Schmitt, a chaplain in the United States Navy. Chaplain Schmitt gave his life rescuing sailors from the ill-fated USS Oklahoma during the attack on Pearl Harbor. A contemplative refuge, the conical shape coils upon itself, enveloping the visitor with a pattern that suggests falling rain

Goals

Skyward was conceived as a solemn tribute to all veterans calling Dubuque, Iowa their home. Sited as the pinnacle element, the piece culminates the journey along the memorial pathway with an invitation to enter the stainless-steel coil. While honoring Chaplain Schmitt, Skyward also commends the sacrifice of veterans in the service of our country. Built over water, the installation suggests suspension between earth and sky, and ultimately, the moment between life and death.

Process

Local veterans were asked to name an emotional response they would want to evoke: Respect, Honor, Sacrifice, Serenity, Gratitude. RDG artists and landscape architects then collaborated to develop a concept. Technical input from an engineer and a fabricator helped the artists reconcile the asymmetrical form and the cut pattern creating a self supported inhabitable sculptural form.

Additional Information

From initial site planning, to design, engineering and installation, Skyward is a paragon of collaboration. RDG Planning & Design provided landscape architecture and art services, lighting design, engineering and construction administration for the six-acre veterans plaza.