Symphonic Convergence 2

Submitted by George Bates

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Project

Client: Metropolitan Transportation Authority-Arts for Transit

Location: Queens, United States

Completion date: 15/05/2011

Artwork budget: $115,000

Project Team

Artist

George Bates

George Bates Studio

Client

Lester Burg

Metropolitan Transportation Authority-Arts for Transit

Industry Resource

Peter Kaufmann

Peters Studio, LLC

Art Consultant

Jörn Neumann

Glasmalerei Peters Studios

Artist

Eduard Schizle

Glasmalerei Peters Studios

Client

Amy Hausmann

Metropolitan Transportation Authority-Arts for Transit

Overview

The brief from the MTA was that the design needed to be realized in hand-painted glass blocks to create a wall aprox. 8’x35’. If I could use clear blocks within the design this would afford the opportunity to create two walls of art instead of one single wall. I created my design for two walls using the clear blocks as a feature that would show more of the beach-side landscape as the subway station is elevated off the ground about 20’ in the air. This image of Symphonic Convergence 2 is one of two walls I created for the commission

Goals

This artwork needed to speak to a deeply diverse and vibrant, ethnically and culturally mixed city community that also happens to be beach-side ( It’s a very unexpected thing to see a city community right on the beach in NYC). The origins of the artworks also stem from ideas about how communities are in flux within and with nature and how they are shaped by the contributions and aspirations of individuals, and their respective histories but most importantly, what connects us all through time. I’m interested on how individual and collective histories contribute to a larger narrative and form a greater whole. The work is a pieces are about the spirit of identity, renewal, and the constancy of reinvention.

Process

After I won the commission I went to Glasmalerei Peters Studios in Germany to discuss with their artisans the color possibilities, techniques, process and a strategy for the translating my design and ideas into glass art. What the Peters Studios artisans delivered went beyond what I expected as their artisans found so much more subtle beauty in what I had given them than I had expected and they translated this beautifully with their vast understanding of technique and process. All of this went way beyond my expectations and I believe that the end result is even better than what I gave them to work from and the final project surpassed what I could have imagined the end result would be.