Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sculptural Vision and Storytelling

The sculptures I'm creating for the ReImagining Works project for the Electra C. Doren library are a site-specific sculpture meant to become part of the library experience. I wanted to propose something that will be an integrated part of the library's reading terrace which was not built at the time of my proposal.

I could imagine the reading terrace from the architectural drawings and extend this vision to include my sculptures. I wanted the art review board reading the proposal to experience that vision and not just see sketches and read descriptions of what I was proposing to build.

I decided that telling a story would be the best approach. I thought that if I could tell a story then the people reading it could feel it in addition to seeing the sketches. I wanted them to imagine they were using the reading terrace and my sculptures were part of their story.

Here is what I included as a descriptive vision in my proposal:
"As you sit on the E.C. Doren library reading terrace, the North Dayton neighborhood you are sitting in ties you to Dayton’s industrial traditions. And so do your immediate surroundings. You are encircled by new sculptural images that unite you with that history.

To your left the sunlight pierces through an image of the heroic Memorial Hall, to your right the stalwart Reibold building reflects the setting sun, and another view gives you glimpses of the confident Dayton Daily News building. Everywhere you look around the terrace fence other inspirations are there as well. And behind you is the Electra C. Doren library, itself part of that history, restored and revitalized. 

These images are silhouette steel cutout sculptures built as an integral part of the fencing rail that borders the reading terrace, and give your library experience a sense of place. They are designed to invite you to contemplate their patterns and inspire you to be part of Dayton’s industrial spirit. Their vibrant reflections, solidity and playfulness are letting you know that the Dayton spirit of making things is still alive. "

Now that I'm reading this and imagining that setting sun I'm not sure I got it's orientation to the panels correct. Let me check out the library on Google Maps ...
Photo Credit: Google Maps
OK I got it wrong. It won't be the setting sun but the daytime southern exposure that will fall on most of the panels. The setting sun will fall on the library wall behind the terrace. I also didn't take into account what seasons of the year library patrons will actually be sitting outside reading! :^) 


  1. Can't wait to see your vision take form!

  2. Thanks. Me too. Right now it's all sketches. Negotiating the last details now on the visible size and material specs so that I can create the originals.