Client: Beacon Group Ventures
Location: Berkeley, CA, United States
Completion date: 2016
Artwork budget: $300,000
Beacon Group Ventures
Chiodo Art Development
The Spirit of Innovation enthusiastically reaches into the cosmos for inspiration. She explodes with energy and visions, a symbolic representation of the academic research taking place at the University of California, Berkeley. She not only greets the occupants and visitors to the building, Spirit is a prominent feature thru the glass lobby windows for people exiting the underground train, walking or driving on Shattuck Blvd.
The clients have a building adjacent to the University of California, Berkeley campus and many of the tenants are involved in scientific research. Because UCB has more Nobel Laureates than any other institution, they desired to honor the Laureates. Rather than sculpt 95 people, we decided to symbolically represent the innovation taking place there. Glass panels denote the names and dates of the Laureates.
The Spirit of Innovation was the first design I envisioned, and although she went through some revisions, the original design intent is intact, as shown in the photo of the model. Spirit is 23' tall and stands on a double helix, the common DNA of humans. The mural behind her includes six celestial bodies or spatial occurences discovered by astrophysicists associated with UCB. The hex pattern gives a nod to the Hubble telescope utilized by several of the scientists.
Because many of the tenants use the underground parking and enter the building thru a back door, the clients wanted an art feature in that hallway. I sculpted the Power of Circles which hints at many ingenious inventions that take a circular shape. Spirit of Innovation and the Power of Circles are both comprised of mixed media.