stardust plaza, 2012 – 2015

City of Everett, California & Wetmore, Everett Washington

The Stardust Plaza graces the heart of downtown Everett, WA.
Embraced by the Village Theater and Kids Stage, the Plaza sets the stage for the outdoor venues of the Performing Arts Program of the city. The curving step wall is either seating or stage, and the sparkling black concrete quickly fills with chairs, with a large stage, and even a bar.

Still in the making, the individual artworks of the plaza are the Cauldron (fountain) and the Convergence Zone (mosaic wall). Everett sits in the direct line of the collision of dramatic weather patterns above, and the Convergence Zone is inspired by the wild energy in the air. The hope is that the Stardust Plaza will become a social Convergence Zone, where people meet to share ideas and dreams.

The Cauldron is a lens shaped terrazzo bowl, tipped to one side. The water spills in a perfect arc off of a cast bronze weir into the lower pool. Within the bowl are cast resin forms, filled with curiosities….frog skeletons, eagle skulls (castings), and more. The lighting is programmed for each of the rocks, so that they change color continually. The fog machine brings a cloud of magic to the Cauldron, as it drifts from the pool out to the street…

The Convergence Zone is composed of mirror shards, onyx, Carrara marble, glass cane, and plenty of grout. It shimmers, it changes continually with light reflections, and is animated with everything it can catch.. Even the traffic passing by creates a kinetic motion across the surface of the wall. At night, the colors changing within the Cauldron reflect in the wall. The installation will continue throughout the summer into fall of 2014. With a little luck from the Convergence Zone above, the wall will be nearly complete by October 2014, and an enormous celebration will be had….with the witches of Macbeth IN the Cauldron.

The Design Team created a sinuous sensuous space for all the citizens of Everett to enjoy. The children of Kid’s Stage rehearse and perform on the plaza all summer long, and Performing Arts program brings musicians to play under the wide open skies. Spontaneous Generation, a venue for quick impromptu performances, will be coming soon. Stardust…..we are all made of it. One magical summer night, with the sparkle of the concrete beneath them, someone said that they felt they were walking on Stardust…and…..aren’t we?

Design Team: Linda Beaumont, Nakano Architects, City of Everett.

spinning our wheels, 2012

Port of Seattle, Sea-Tac Airport Rental Car Facility, Sea-Tac, WA
Colleen McPoland: Port of Seattle Public Arts Administrator, Fabrication Specialties: fabrication and installation, Jose San Juan: artist, magician with an air brush, Sam Santos of Western Graphics: design, Nick Robertson of Piano Nobile: architectural dr

A mesmerizing array of brilliant colors and dazzling designs await travelers arriving to the new Rental Car Facility at Sea-Tac Airport. “Spinning Our Wheels” is a composition of 91 steel discs, standing 6 feet tall, and running the entire length of a 600 ft steel fence. Painted with layers of luminous auto paint, the wheels create a playful narrative for the travelers caught in between worlds, and spinning their wheels while they await a shuttle bus to a flight into the skies, or a rental car for their visit to the Pacific Northwest. Set against the soft Seattle skies, the artwork brings a wondrous welcome into view.

There are 24 rotating wheels. Each wheel is programmed separately, so that the motion is subtle and shifting throughout the length of the wall. The wheels will be rotating very slowly, and then shift to a rhythmic pace of variable speeds almost like breathing. The 24 rotating wheels are interspersed throughout the length of the wall, giving the entire wall a sense of animation.

The designs are colorful optical patterns that vibrate with jewel like colors. The designs move from cool deep blues to sunset colors throughout the length of the wall.
The Rental Car Facility is located just north of Sea-Tac Airport on Pacific Highway South.

standing tall, 2010

Norm Maleng Memorial, King County Courthouse, Seattle, WA
Tamar Benrinski Stern of 4Culture: project manager; Nick Robertson of Piano Nobile: architect and fabricator; Don Robertson of Blue Star Electric: lighting; Rick Oswald of Cutting Edge: sand blasted text; Cappy Thompson: hand painted glass; and Spike Mafford

Light box: 90 inches tall, triangular base 22″x14″x24″, layered glass panels, powder coated steel, photo images laminated in glass, sand blasted text in glass, and hand painting on glass, light. The sculpture is a light box, with the light source hidden behind the prism of glass panels.

The memorial is a place for those lucky enough to have known Norm Maleng to pause, and remember him every day. With a wit and tireless spirit, he delivered daily maxims to all the people with whom he worked – everyone.

“The mission of our office is not to win cases but to serve justice.”

For the hundreds of people who pass daily through the King County Courthouse, the memorial will be a reminder to the presence of place that they have entered, and to the mission that Norm held so high with his life’s work. This will also be a place that people might hear his thoughts within themselves:

“I have come to realize that all of us are ministers, and that we all have a ministry in life.”

I hope that this memorial might serve as a silent sentry, to all that enter the Courthouse.

As Norm would say, “Hope springs eternal.”

the bottom of the sea, 2010

Port of Portland, PDX, Port of Portland Airport, Portland, Oregon; in the entry lobby, ground floor

The entire installation for the lobby is The Bottom of the Sea. It includes the sculpture, Core; the video of diatoms on the wall above the sculpture and the black terrazzo floor.

The vast and articulate biological machine, the world ocean, inspired this artwork installation. The sculpture, Core, is composed of stratified luminous layers that ripple with light. It appears as a vestige formed by the ocean currents, recalling the hull of a ship and holding the power of waves.

On the high wall behind, and above the sculpture is the video of diatoms. As the earth’s largest carbon removal system, the delicate diatoms are forever blooming on the surface of the ocean and invisibly falling to the depths the ocean floor. The video celebrates their delicate structure, so beautiful as to be called the jewels of the sea.

The terrazzo floor is filled with flotsam and jetsam of the ocean. Shells, jewels, and the luminous mother-of-pearl are all cast into the black terrazzo – even a string of pearls.

This artwork honors the ocean as a biological machine. It is located in the lobby adjacent to the Living Machine, the architectural gesture that is also a biological machine, transforming the water used in the building into clean water. There is a poetic call and response between the Living Machine and the sculpture that speaks of the organic machinery of life.

limelight, fall 2009 – spring 2010

Shoreline City Hall,
Opus Construction, LMN Architects

The Shoreline City Hall mural is titled LIMELIGHT. It is composed of huge blossoms of the native dogwood tree, Cornus nuttalli. This painted mural creates a backdrop for public events in the Courtyard and, also, serves as a beacon for the new City Hall. The billboard size flowers, floating down the center of the wall, bring the vital energy of spring out into the broader context of a suburban neighborhood with strip malls, billboards and stripped landscape. The top of the mural can be seen from the adjacent Highway 99, as a very dreamy billboard. Within the courtyard the mural brings a soft atmospheric space into the façade of the glass and metal clad walls. Upon closer view and as one walks toward the City Hall entry doors, one experiences the scale of the wonderland-size flowers and the expression and energy of the painting.