Travelling Stones and Other Vagabonds

Submitted by Norie Sato

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Client: Utah Transit/Salt Lake City Arts Commission

Location: Salt Lake City, UT, United States

Completion date: 2008

Artwork budget: $180,000

Project Team

Artist

Norie Sato

Industry Resource

Kevin Maag

Metal Arts

Client

Salt Lake City Arts Commission

Salt Lake City Arts Commission

Client

Utah Transit Authority

Utah Transit Authority

Overview

15 sculptures animate this transit plaza that connects different modes of transportation: light rail, commuter rail, Greyhound bus and Amtrak train. Based on a phenomenon that occurs near the Great Salt Lake where stones move around mysteriously combined with the notion of human travel, this work looks playfully at what we carry with us when we travel and what stories could be inferred or deduced from those objects and our movements. Stone and bronze were combined to create these sculptures placed on the platforms as well as seemingly randomly among the other regularly placed elements in the plaza.

Goals

To humanize, animate and add meaning to the transit plaza were 3 of the goals of the artwork's integration. The conceptual integration of the idea of migration/immigration, diversity, the personal, nature and the universal were also important for the artwork. Each unique piece combines a boulder with a carrying vessel, suitcases, baskets, furoshiki, trunks, to create pieces that touch on memory, history, the present and the future.

Process

This project involved mostly collaboration with the fabricators, Metal Arts of Lehi, Utah. This close collaboration involved hands-onsculpting or molding the objects, fitting them to the boulders (and in some cases cutting the boulders), casting the objects and permanently attaching them together. Placement was coordinated with the landscape architects and with the agency. Installation was done by the fabricator.