Client: The City of Kansas City Public Art Program
Location: Kansas City, MO, United States
Completion date: 2021
Artwork budget: $100,000
David Griggs LLC
Demiurge Design LLC
This piece is made up of an arrangement of hundreds of aluminum tubes, painted with luminous greens, blues and purples. These are the colors of the night sky, and they are reinforced by programmed LED lights that emerge from the ends of the tubes. The effect of this ever-changing light sculpture is to draw the viewers’ attention around and about the sculptural “disks”, finding the unique details and color of the design.
The inspiration for the piece started with the perceptual phenomena of “star trails”. Star Trails are the result of time-exposure photographs of the night sky, and they show the “transit” of stars across the sky over time. What they are really showing is the rotation of the earth, and so they describe a specific passage of time. This unique design offers a celebratory entrance experience for the Kansas City Convention Center.
The idea for the piece evolved from impressions of the Convention Center, its grounds, and features of the nearby landscape. The curvilinear character of the design offers a warm counterpoint to the rectilinear form of this Ballroom entrance space. Humanizing and distinctive, it echoes the shapes of the nearby Jun Kaneko sculptures and mirrors the roof of the Kauffman Performing Arts Center. Inside of a space that might be called “evenhanded” or “formal”, this bright abstraction will draw attention and inspire viewers. In many ways the effect is like Kansas City’s numerous fountains, engaging the eye with abstract movement, reflecting light, and visualizing the flow of energy.
The complexity of the design demanded collaboration with many other designers and fabricators. These were 3D design specialists, engineers, electrical experts, and material fabricators. Multiple people participated in realizing the design, using conventional methodology and off-the-shelf materials to create a unique and dynamic experience.