A selection of Pulic Art Proposals from Blackhawk's Artists: Widtsoe Hall, University of Utah
Science and Chemistry Building, University of Utah (1997). The architects, in what was then a very new process, had given out CG rederings of what the bildings, then in the planing stage, would look like. We developed our proposed sculptures, schedules, and budget, and sent back CG renderings of the sculptures in situ. We proposed three sculptures that fit the theme of the project and the locations specified.
One was "The Alchemist," a gestural bronze piece to stand in a courtyard and symbolize the joy of chemistry.
Another was a giant ADP molecule model that hung in the 3-story atrium. Paired with a phosphate model on the floor is encouraged students to think about the chemistry of life.
The third was a series of small bronze plaques taht explored the symbols and nomenclature of chemistry through out the ages. Virtualy all types from ancient alchemy through the modern sumbols of biochemistry would be displayed on the walls of the Reception Center.
The Alchemist was to be hollow cast of silicon bronze but with a series of metals electroplated onto the arc above the dancing character's head. Plating metals were chosen for color and sheen, pointng out that chemistry is, at its foundation, about all things natural.
The somewhat abstracted figure is modeled in exhuberant motion but is genderless and so non-exclusive.
A freshman would recognize the model hanging in the atrium as a molecule but have no idea what kind. After taking an intro course they would recognize the atoms (color coded and sized appropriately) and the basic structure but still not understand the relevance to themselves. After taking Organic Chemistry they would understand what molecule and also its relationship to the Phosphate on the floor (the "tri" or the third phosphate in ATP)
The ADP ATP transition and its reverse are the method by which we transfer sunlight into motive energy. This is so fundimental to our existence that I thought it to be an excellent starting place for a fledglinc chemistry student.
A critical part of this project for me was to instill wonder and curiosity in both casual visitors and daily residents to the building.