Client: Creek Casino
Location: Montgomery, AL, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $75,000
With the creation of a fountain and sculpture centerpiece for the entrance of the casino, we really wanted this space to come alive. Previously there was a simple raised landscape planter with a tall pine tree. The goal was to give this main entry area a much stronger beacon-like presence. The steady breeze prevalent in the area made sense for some kind of wind sculpture. The project designers searched for kinetic sculptors and found my work. They were especially attracted to another large stainless steel wind sculpture I had completed in Southern California entitled “Someone Sent Me Two Feathers.”
As a Native American owned project, the casino has a strong Creek Indian identity, and asked me to try and work possibly with a "feather" motif, and colors that reflected their tribal logo. Thus the shapes and textures on the bronze have a subtle feather design. There are three prominent design features at the site, a large shaded entry structure with dramatic tube and shade sail design, and an expansive modernistic silver curved facade wall, in addition to the curved casino entryway itself. Hundreds of people pass to and from the casino from all directions, so it was important to create something that worked in 360 degrees against all these competing backdrops, as well as against the sky and the pine and oak woods nearby.
The sculpture and fountain pool needed to be a single harmonious feature. Project designer Brad Martin established the pool design and details, and together we came up with a raised central column for the sculpture, to both give it more height, and to add some subtle water flow down the raised tiled walls. As we settled on the color of the bronze sculpture from samples I sent him, he found a tile that worked well with the bronze and perfectly complemented the water and the exterior materials of the building and hardscaping. The fountain company also worked with us to establish the right balance of sound, light, and water effects from the bubbling water jets, keeping these elements restrained so not to distract from the sculpture.
With the motion of the sculpture, the water, and the sound, and the lighting, the challenge was to manage all of this, which easily could have all ended up getting too busy. The goal was an engaging - yet relaxing - environment.