Being chosen as a finalist in a competition, and asked to submit a sculpture proposal, got me thinking. Here’s an institution of higher learning looking for a piece of art to grace the exterior of a new building on their campus. What could I offer that would enrich the sensory experience of students, faculty, staff and visitors? Equally important, how could a sculpture settle comfortably into the physical constraints of its surroundings? Landscape architect Todd Lynch and I put our heads together and came up with a proposal, now being reviewed, that I hope answers these questions.
The TARRIANCE: a sculpture proposal for Central Oregon Community College’s Science Building Entrance Plaza
My desire is to assemble a collection of unique stone features, set amidst plantings of medicinal herbs and flowers, that contrast the surrounding hardscape and compliment the architectural elements of the building.
Two naturally smooth-contoured stones, 1-3 tons in size, will rest on cribbing constructed of rough-split, quarried stones. The sculptural features will seem to float above plaza surfaces, and also interact with existing stone walls by coming into direct physical contact with them at precise points. One of the natural stones and many of the quarried stones will lend themselves to seating.
The Hardiness Zone 6 plants chosen for this installation all have medicinal properties. Incorporating healing plants into the walk-way extends the mission of the science library beyond its walls and provides a reflective metaphor for those passing by. As one ascends the steps from the road to the library, the clinical uses of the plants become more complex. Plants create a dynamic relationship with the rock through seasonal change, motion and texture.
Elements of the sculpture will present a variety of shapes and sizes, creating compliments of scale within the piece itself and with surrounding architectural features. I see the building entrance area as a conduit for pedestrian traffic, a meeting place, and an island of natural beauty and tranquillity. It’s my hope that the plaza terraces, steps, walls, stone features and plantings will merge and become one holistic, environmental art experience.
Dimensions: 18’x22’ (includes one existing wall)
Materials: 2 natural shaped stones (1-3 tons), 30 quarried cribbing stones (4’-10’ long), fastening hardware, plants.
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