Web of Native Botanicals

Submitted by Troy Corliss


Client: City of San José, Office of Cultural Affairs

Location: San José, CA, United States

Completion date: 2003

Artwork budget: $175,000

Project Team

Industry Resource

Brad Rollins

point 2 Structural Engineers, Inc.

Public Art Agent

Jennifer Easton

San José Public Art Program. Office of Cultural Affairs


CWA , AIA, Inc.


When considering the content of the artwork, the artist wished to bring images of the natural world outside of the library to the inside. In particular, he imagined a view of the land that may have existed throughout the long history of the area. When working with the community, much of the interest for the project was directed towards the indigenous botany common with in many of the open space preserves that surrounds the area.


Entering the Marketplace, the glass and steel plant forms reveal themselves as a canopy suspended over- head. The work emanates in clusters around the column rising through the center of the room and floats like a huge bouquet cascading into the upper vaulted space of the Marketplace. Four different California native plants are represented: redbud, purple needle grass, California buckwheat and black walnut. The City of San José Public Art Program seeks to build community identity by initiating artworks and exhi- bitions that enhance the civic landscape. Through active engagement between the artists and communities, public art projects strive to reflect the City’s ethnic diversity, historic richness, and envision its present and future.
The Public Art Program is a program of San José’s Office of Cultural Affairs, a division of the City’s Office of Economic Development. The Public Art Program was established by a 1984 municipal ordinance and provides 1% for art in City capital improvement projects and eligible private development. The artwork was created through funding provided through a $212 million library bond measure approved by voters in November 2000.


The artist was selected early in the design development process to work closely with the City's architectural team and the community to integrate an art design within the function of the library facility. Elin Christopherson is the collaborating artist on the project. She was responsible for the glass elements. She earned her BFA in Glass from California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and her graduate degree in Glass from Alfred University in New York. Elin has taught glassblowing throughout the United States, and is currently teaching at California College of Arts. Point 2 Structural Engineers, Inc. (Sacramento, CA) has worked closely with Troy since 2003 to find creative solutions to support many of his large scale projects. Principal Engineer, Brad Rollins designed the supporting structure and "web" for the Edenvale Library project.

Additional Information

The artist hopes the artwork will generate curiosity and create an incentive to go outside and investigate the surrounding local environment that is so much a part of the City’s visual landscape.