Wellspring

Submitted by Eric Powell

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Client: Essex Property Trust with City of Dublin

Location: Dublin, CA, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $352,000

Project Team

Industry Resource

Alexander Firth

Captive Spark

Artist

Eric Powell

Eric Powell Arts

Client

Ann Mottola

City of Dublin

Overview

Steel and paint. 18' x 12' x 10'

Goals

Wellspring overflows with the exuberant and uplifting energy of birds setting off in flight. The sculpture creates a visual beacon for passersby on their way to the West Dublin Bart Station, one block away. Wellspring beautifies and identifies the
corner where it resides. The inspiration for Wellspring derived from discovering that Dublin, CA was a marsh and a major stopover for migratory birds. It is a tribute to the timeless beauty of birds in flight.

Process

Wellspring is the result of seamless collaboration with the client, Essex Property Trust, and with Captive Spark, the fabricator who cut the birds shapes.

My initial design was altogether different from Wellspring. After it had been unanimously approved, new information was presented about the site that made it clear that the existing foundation was not adequate for the sculpture I had proposed. I worked closely with the client and after exploring the options I offered to come up with an entirely new scheme for a sculpture that would be compatible with the existing situation. With a clear, mutually respectful conversation we were able to switch gears seamlessly and actually create a work of art that was even more responsive and in scale with the site than the first design.

I have collaborated with Alex Firth at Captive Spark, a great fabricator in Berkeley, CA, for several years. Captive Spark does all of my CNC cutting. The real value of the collaboration is that Alex ‘gets’ my aesthetic and is amazing at translating my hand-done drawings into vector files that carry the character of my drawings throughout the process to the final product. He did the cutting for ‘Wellspring’.