The Process: WGS Creates Public Art For West Palm Beach Intl Airport

2 Agencies + 2 Unique Identities = 1 Integrated Artwork Solution

Detail from public art sculptures by Washington Glass Studio for West Palm Beach International Airport

Details from sculptures by Washington Glass Studio for West Palm Beach International Airport

Palm Beach County‘s Art in Public Places awarded Washington Glass Studio (WGS) the commission to design and fabricate integrated public art sculptures as part of the renovation of an existing facility for the new headquarters for Palm Beach County’s Tourist Development Council (TDC) and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) after a Call for Artists held in 2014. The building – a five story 61,000 square foot facility is located at one the most visible intersections in Palm Beach County, adjacent to the Palm Beach International Airport and can be seen from departing and arriving flights. 

Site for public art at West Palm Beach Airport

Sites for public art sculptures outlined in Call for Artists @ Florida’s West Palm Beach Airport

Agency 1 – Tourist Development Council (TDC)

The Tourist Development Council asked that their site-specific sculpture reinforce their brand and help show that Palm Beach is a prime tourism destination in one of the top tourism states in the country. The TDC includes Discover Palm Beach County, the Film and Television Commission and the Sports Commission. The TDC also provides oversight to the Palm Beach County Convention Center and the Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management Department and their Beach Re-nourishment Program.

Agency 2 – Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO)

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has approximately 4,000 dedicated and professional staff that are committed to protecting the public, and enhancing the quality of life in the community while administering agency operations. The project site will house PBSO Admin services include Central Records, Human Resources, Labor Relations, Risk Management and Graphics.

WGS Director Erwin Timmers reviews the sites with representatives from PBSO and TDC in October 2014.

WGS Director Erwin Timmers reviews the sites with representatives from PBSO and TDC in October 2014.

After consulting with the different agencies, WGS began schematic design of the sculpture works and the integration of the work with the architecture of the building. WGS sought to utilize color as a strong identification element that would help define the building’s new entry sequences.

Design concepts for the site are presented and reviewed with the end users.

Preliminary design concepts for the site were reviewed with the end users.

The artwork was reviewed and modified as the project team were consulted and fabrication details were outlined. Structural details of the aluminum framework were integrated into the design. Florida has very high wind design loads that had an impact on the artwork design and working again with structural engineer Holbert Apple Associates ensured that the hurricane loads would pose no problem for the artworks. Additionally, the designs would have to allow for shipping from the Washington, DC area glass studio down to sunny Palm Beach Florida and thus the design incorporated modular aspects to allow for fabrication and shipping.

structural analysis of art

Design of the artwork included detailed structural engineering analysis.

An additional aspect for the project design was the inclusion and integration of artwork and the building’s architectural re-design. Building signage, lighting, paving, and landscaping aspects were to be part of the artist’s proposal. The original building dates from the 1980′s and offered the ideal blank slate background, and allowed for some experimentation with blocks of color that would tie the art with the architecture.

Palm Beach building façade color test study.

West Palm Beach building façade color test study.

The building artwork design contract included elements of landscape design, and WGS artists liked creating new places to have glass incorporated. Color-coordinated glass “pebbles” (surface-seeded aggregate) were mixed into the concrete paving surrounding the artwork at the base of each. With great power comes with great responsibility.

Concrete paving sample

Tourism Office concrete paving sample. The glass chips were color coordinated to the artwork.

Paving slip resistance, hurricane wind loads on glass and steel, in-ground lighting values – all were part of the artist’s control and the studio was challenged to grow and develop our knowledge base. 

Design: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO)

The design of the PBSO artwork had to showcase how the Sheriff’s office was an important partner to the community and reflect the values of the department. Aspects of the Sheriff would be presented in bas-relief cast glass panels mounted in sturdy structural aluminum framework. The colors of the PBSO were to form the basis of the sculpted glass artwork. The greens and golds would include a stripe of blue glass that would represent the “thin blue line” that symbolizes the relationship of law enforcement in the community.

Sheriff department concept sketch.

Sheriff department concept sketch.

The location of the sculpture was important – the artwork would help define the entry to the new Sheriff’s office, and the artwork would also help shield views down along the building that are more private outdoor spaces. 

Detail of one of the cast glass panels for the PBSO artwork. The clasped hands represent helping community.

Detail of one of the cast glass panels for the PBSO artwork. The clasped hands represent helping community.

The finished work has some incredibly detailed cast panels that are works of art in and by themselves.

View of the new Sheriff Office artwork - titled "Guardian" by WGS.

View of the new Sheriff Office artwork – titled “Guardian” by WGS.

Design: Tourist Development Council (TDC)

DPB-TOURISM-RGB

Palm Beach’s Tourist Development Council (TDC) has oversight responsibility for the marketing agencies which include Discover The Palm Beaches, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission along with the Palm Beach County Convention Center. A number of proposals were presented to the TDC and the selected version was for an illuminated 17′-0″ tower – ultimately to be located on a new plaza area at the building entry. The color palatte of the “Discover the Palm Beaches” campaign would be the basis of the artwork color direction.  The glass design direction taken by the artist team was to abstract elements from each of the agencies that make up the TDC.

The TDC artwork, titled "Guidepost" is situated on a new plaza created at the building entry.

The TDC artwork, titled “Guidepost” is situated on a new plaza created at the building entry.

The structural requirements for the artwork framework (to be made in aluminum) required a substantial cross section for the members. The strong wind loads in coastal Florida required a close supervision of the metal design and fabrication. 

Artist Michael Janis begins creation of the colorful glass inset panels.

Artist Michael Janis begins creation of the colorful glass inset panels.

 

Erwin Timmers works on the TDC art while Patricia and Audrey supervise.

Erwin Timmers works on the TDC art while Patricia and Audrey supervise.

Dave Dolan of Palm Beach County is part of the review process of the structural metal at the shop.

Dave Dolan of Palm Beach County is part of the review process of the structural metal at the shop.

The glass artwork integrated into the metal structure began in the summer of 2016. Each glass inset was coated with a special coating to protect the structure in hurricane force winds. The installation of the artwork began in late 2016 and was completed in early 2017, giving the WGS crew some time in the beautiful Florida sunshine.

Audrey Wilson and Erwin Timmers install the public art in Palm Beach, FL.

Audrey Wilson and Erwin Timmers install the public art in Palm Beach, FL.

TDC artwork reflects beautifully in the building in sunny Florida.

The artwork “Guidepost” is beautifully reflected in the building that houses Florida’s TDC.

Project Information

Address: 2195 Southern Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL 33406

Artist: Washington Glass Studio

Design Team: Laurie Brown, Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Audrey Wilson. With Patricia de Poel Wilberg and Ricky Barton.

Structural Engineer : Holbert Apple Assoc Inc

Laurel Library’s Grand Opening Features Public Art Sculpture by Washington Glass Studio

Washington Glass Studio sculpture at the new Laurel Library.

Washington Glass Studio sculpture at the new Laurel Library. Photo by Pete Duvall.

The Washington Glass Studio (WGS) has recently completed installation of a community based site specific public art commission for Prince George’s County Laurel Library. The new building was designed by Grimm + Parker Architects, with the grand opening of the new library scheduled for November 28, 2016. Features of the spectacular new library include an inset floor area in the children’s section where kids will get to peer at a replica velociraptor skeleton through the glass floor. Just a few miles away from the library site is Dinosaur Park, where scientists work to excavate fossils from the early Cretaceous period. Dinosaur imagery was also included as a theme running through the glass artwork panels.

WGS design proposal sketch

WGS design proposal sketch.

WGS was awarded the commission to make the outdoor sculpture at the front of the new library by Maryland’s Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council (PGAHC). The Art in Public Places Program RFQ sought out artwork that would provide world class artwork for Prince George’’s County residents and visitors. 

WGS proposal for the project was a 17′H internally illuminated glass and steel sculpture that incorporates glass panels made by the community,residents and stakeholders of the Laurel, MD community. The engineering of the steel framework involved detailed analysis of the structure and its components. WGS worked with structural engineer Holbert Apple to ensure the integrity of the design.

Detailed analysis of sculpture was part of the design development process.

Detailed analysis of sculpture was part of the design development process.

Over 100 glass inset panels were made during the series of workshops held at the Washington Glass School. The Baltimore Sun newspaper featured a story by reporter Lisa Philip about the process. 

A series of community glass quilting bees were held at the Washington Glass School for the library during the summer.

A series of community glass quilting bees were held at the Washington Glass School for the library during the summer. Photo by Lisa Philip/Baltimore Sun

 

 

The artwork’s title “Involve Me and I Learn”  is based on a phrase attributed to US Founding Father Benjamin Franklin (who also opened the first US public library). The name references the engagement of the community. The neighborhood and the Laurel Library supporters had joined in making the individual glass panels in workshops at the Washington Glass School.Laurel_Library.artists.washington_glass_school.studio.sculpture.public_art.project.american.great.commission.site_specific.fused.jpg

The resulting variations in each tile’s imagery and technique embody the artist’s concept in bringing the people from the diverse community together to create a cohesive and vibrant sculpture. 

 

 

The artwork inset kiln-formed glass panels express the personality and the  individuality of everyone involved in the project.

The artwork’s internally illuminated kiln-formed glass panels express the personality and the individuality of everyone involved in the project. Photo by Pete Duvall

Project  Information

Artist: Washington Glass Studio 

Design Team: Laurie Brown, Michael Janis, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Audrey Wilson. With Josh Hershman and Pierre Browning.

Structural Engineer : Holbert Apple Assoc Inc 

WGS_Laurel Library.MD.aipp.washington_glass_studio.public_art.sculpture.site.specific.sustainable.design.usa.jpg

Photo by Pete Duvall

Laurel Library
507 7th Street, Laurel, MD 20707

Grand Opening / Dedication – 10:30 AM, Monday, November 28, 2016 – All are invited!

Washington Glass Studio Installs Laurel Library Public Art

The steel structure is lowered by crane onto the foundation at the new Laurel Library

The steel structure is lowered by crane onto the foundation at the new Laurel Library

Washington Glass Studio installed their outdoor sculpture at the new Laurel, Maryland library. The 16′ H tower titled “Involve Me and I Learn” has over 100 glass tiles mounted in the steel framework. The artwork’s title – attributed to Ben Franklin – references the engagement of the community. The neighborhood and the Laurel Library supporters had joined in making the individual glass panels in workshops at the Washington Glass School. The Baltimore Sun had earlier in the year covered the story of the glass quilting bee workshops.

Siteworks for the sculptural and architectural application of glass were completed and the risky business of installing the works just took place.

Audrey Wilson rises to meet the challenge.

Audrey Wilson rises to meet the challenge.

Washington Glass Studio Co-Director Erwin Timmers bolts the steel framed glass panels to the main structure.

Washington Glass Studio Co-Director Erwin Timmers bolts the steel framed glass panels to the main structure.

The panels were fitted and bolted in place and the internal LED lighting was installed. Prince George’s Art in Public Places has advised that the official opening of the stunning library is set for November 28th.laurel (2)

Artist Josh Hershman Put To Work!

Josh Hershman preps the glass prior to mounting into the powdercoated steel sculpture structure.

Josh Hershman masks the glass prior to mounting into the powdercoated steel sculpture structure.

Artist and recent Alfred University MFA graduate Josh Hershman has come to the Washington Glass Studio. Josh will be working on the studio’s Public Art project for the Laurel Library – integrating the community-created glass artwork with the structural steel.

JOSH HERSHMAN; Glass, alternative photo process, ceramic decals, size 32″ x 32″

JOSH HERSHMAN: “Derealization”; Glass, alternative photo process, ceramic decals, size 32″ x 32″

Readers of the Washington Glass School blog might remember the 2014 post when the Arizona Art Glass Alliance visited the Glass School - where Josh took photos using his signature cast glass cameras – the resulting photos were part of Josh’s artwork his piece Derealization, which was awarded first place in the Glass Art Society’s International Student Exhibition in December 2014.

Josh is orchestrating the cold construction fabrication of the new outdoor sculpture at the Glass Studio for the next couple of weeks – and then he will be off to become the Resident Artist at California’s Leichtag Foundation where he will teaching sculptural design.

If you are in and around the Glass School – make sure you say hey to Josh!

Josh Hershman art

Josh Hershman looks forward to seeing everyone!

Laurel Library Public Art – Final Workshop for Community Glass Components

Washington Glass Studio was commissioned by Prince George’s County to create the public artwork for the new Laurel Library- scheduled to open this Fall – held a series of community glass-making workshops that had the area residents participate in making the elements of the glass and steel artwork. The Baltimore Sun newspaper covered one of the May workshops, and the final workshop wrapped up today.  

The final community group had a great time designing and creating glass artwork that will part of the outdoor sculpture – created like a community quilting-bee. Updates on the project will be coming soon!

The novice glass artists take to the medium like... well... a frog to water!

The novice glass artists take to the medium like… well… a frog to water!

Each community resident brought their artistic vision to be realized in glass.

Each community resident brought their artistic vision to be realized in glass.

The glass components will be secured into a powdercoat steel frame support.

The glass components will be secured into a powdercoat finished steel frame support.

Baltimore Sun Covers Washington Glass Studio’s Laurel Library Artwork Workshops

The Washington Glass Studio was awarded the commission to create the new landmark artwork sculpture for the Laurel Library (now under construction next to Emancipation Park in Laurel, MD). Baltimore Sun reporter Lisa Philip visited the Washington Glass Studio last week as the Library area residents and interested citizens collaborated in glass-making workshops to make the inset panels . Click HERE to jump to Lisa Philip’s article on how the artwork is engaging the community.

Baltimore Sun coverage of how the Washington Glass Studio engages community.

Baltimore Sun coverage of how the Washington Glass Studio engages community.

photo credit:Lisa Philip / Baltimore Sun Media Group Erwin Timmers, co-founder and -director of Washington Glass Studio, advises a Laurel resident on his creation of a glass tile for the public art sculpture that will stand in front of the new Laurel Library, set to open this fall.

photo credit:Lisa Philip / Baltimore Sun Media Group
Erwin Timmers, co-founder and -director of Washington Glass Studio, advises a Laurel resident on his creation of a glass tile for the public art sculpture that will stand in front of the new Laurel Library, set to open this fall.

M L Duffy Sculpture at Reston VA’s North County Government Center

Matthew Duffy,“Mutual Understanding, Mutual Respect,” being installed at Reston, VA’s new North County Government Center. Photo: Lizzie Temme Duffy

Matthew Duffy’s artwork “Mutual Understanding, Mutual Respect” being installed at Reston, VA’s new North County Government Center. Photo: Lizzie Temme Duffy

Sculptor Matthew Duffy‘s new public artwork installed at Reston’s new North County Government Center is featured in a recent Fairfax CountyTimes article. The sculpture—two, sleek, stainless steel fretwork hands reaching for each other – was made at his studio in next door Otis Street Arts Project over the past year. Titled “Mutual Understanding, Mutual Respect, the artist M.L. Duffy describes the work as based on “the idea of mutual respect in these difficult times”. 

Matthew Duffy installing the public art sculpture in February. Photo by Janet Rems / Fairfax County Times

M.L. Duffy installing the public art sculpture in February. Photo by Janet Rems / Fairfax County Times

 

 

 

 

 

M.L. Duffy worked on a number of Washington Glass Studio public art projects – most notably the Bethesda, MD Safeway supermarket façade, where he later described the process deconstructed down to the hours of physical labor: “3 Bays: 7 Months, 340+ pieces of glass, 2,125 chops on the tile saw, 120 hours on the belt-sander and diamond grinder, 1 full box of silicone, 48 frames, 2 cans of paint, 300 re-filed squares, 17 castings, and a whole-lotta trying to keep track of everything.”  

Also a fine arts teacher at the Jesuit Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC, Matthew hired a group of top art and stage crew students to work with him during the sculpture’s preliminary stages.

Congrats Matthew on the success of the new public artwork! 

ML Duffy reviews the Safeway glass panels cast from recycled glass with WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers.

ML Duffy reviews the Safeway glass panels cast from recycled glass with WGS Co-Director Erwin Timmers.

 

Washington Glass Studio Engages Community With Laurel Library’s Public Art

Washington Glass School & Studio

Prince George’s County’s Art in Public Places promotes community interaction in the creation of the new artwork sculpture at the Laurel Library. Residents of the area are invited to the Glass School to create the glass panels in the sculpture.

Prince George’s County, MD, recently awarded Washington Glass Studio the commission to create of one of the public art sculptures destined to become a landmark at the new Laurel Library, currently completing construction.

WGS is working with Arts in Public Places (AIPP) -  Prince George’s County Government’s public art program that contributes to the place-making and aesthetic significance of Capital Improvement Projects. AIPP creates percent-for-art initiatives that integrate works-of-art into new and (substantially) renovated County buildings as part of construction costs of the facility.

Proposal sketch by Washington Glass Studio.

Proposal sketch by Washington Glass Studio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Laurel Library public art process involves community and facility stakeholders, artists, construction professionals and local government officials. Community glass making workshops have been held, and a there has been a great start on the artwork! 

The new glass artists lay out their designs.

The new glass artists lay out their designs.

The first batch of fused glass artworks is reviewed in the studio.

The first batch of fused glass artworks is reviewed in the studio.

One of the artworks references the new library’s lighted dinosaur footprints leading to the Discovery Island children’s room that will have a glass floor exposing a full-size velociraptor skeleton replica. The room will hold two children’s seating areas, one within a large dinosaur rib cage and the other decorated with volcano lava and light effects.

Willaim Beanes Community Center Awards Washington Glass Studio Public Art Commission

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Prince George’s Department of Parks and Recreation has awarded the commission to create public art and site specific commission for the William Beanes Community Center in Suitland, MD to the Washington Glass Studio.

William Beanes Community Center, Suitland, MD

William Beanes Community Center, Suitland, MD

The center is named for William Beanes, MD, of Prince George’s County, who played a pivotal, yet largely unknown, role in the history of The Star-Spangled Banner. If not for Dr. Beanes, Francis Scott Key would not have been on a ship in Baltimore’s Harbor, and he would never have written the poem which became our National Anthem. 

francis-scott-key

A romantic depiction of Francis Scott Key at the dawn’s early light, seeing the Star-Spangled Banner still waving at Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor on the morning of Sept. 14, 1814.

Dr. William Beanes had been captured by the British for his role in arresting and jailing British deserters during the War of 1812.  Francis Scott Key, a Georgetown lawyer, was approached by friends of Beanes with the permission of President James Madison, and dispatched to travel along with John S. Skinner, a US Agent for Prisoner Exchange, to negotiate Bean’s release from the British.  British Major General Robert Ross, who had initiated the arrest of Dr. Beanes, was reluctant to let him go.  Skinner produced letters, however, from wounded British prisoners of war who described their good treatment at the hands of Dr. Beanes and Ross agreed to his release. The group’s return home, however, coincided with the British attack on Baltimore during the summer of 1814, and they sought temporary safety on a ship just a few miles from Fort McHenry.  Onboard, the group could hear the rockets in the distance as the fighting continued through the night until early morning brought an eerie quiet.  With the sun rising in the distance, Key used a telescope and spied the U.S. flag still flying. Inspired by the sight, Key began composing on the back of a letter found in his pocket what would later be known as “The Star Spangled Banner”. On March 3, 1931, a proclamation by Congress immortalized the song as our country’s national anthem.

Internally illuminated discs are to be mounted to the building at the entrance to the center.

Internally illuminated discs are to be mounted to the building at the entrance to the center.

The design proposed by Washington Glass Studio used the concept of the Round Panels = Abstracted Fireworks “Bursting In Air”. This symbolizes pride, childlike wonder, romantic love, patriotism and inspiration. Rising along the feature wall towards the roofline, establishing a strong visual presence to the entry would be a series of large brightly colored illuminated panels. The circular shapes contrast the building’s form and help create visual interest. Each of the large panels would have powerful graphic designs that pay homage to the future of Suitland’s residents and heritage, icons of the community, its history and goals.

The circular shapes contrast the building’s form and help create visual interest. Each of the large panels would have powerful graphic designs that pay homage to the future of  Suitland’s residents and heritage, icons of the community, its history and goals.

The large circular panels will have LED illumination integrated into each disc.

 

View of the design and how the internal LED illumination will work at nighttime.

Montgomery County Veterans Memorial by Washington Glass Studio

memorial.plaza.veterans

Montgomery County officials dedicated a new plaza and eternal flame in honor of the county’s war veterans on Monday, just before the next day’s observance of Veterans Day. County Executive Ike Leggett and Council president Craig Rice dedicated the plaza and its Fallen Heroes Memorial, which is part of the Judicial Center Annex construction project.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (left) shakes hands with retired Navy Cmdr. Everrett Alvarez Jr. of Potomac, who was the longest-held prisoner of war in Vietnam, after Monday’s dedication of Memorial Plaza and unveiling of the Eternal Memorial Flame in Rockville, MD

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (center left) with retired Navy Cmdr. Everrett Alvarez Jr. of Potomac, who was the longest-held prisoner of war in Vietnam, after the dedication of Memorial Plaza and unveiling of Washington Glass Studio’s Eternal Memorial Flame in Rockville, MD

The plaza is part of the Judicial Center Annex construction project that began in 2011 and involved an addition and renovation of the existing Judicial Center. The plaza and green spaces were redesigned to invite public use of the space.

artwork.modern.public.sculpture.usa.memorial.dedicationDuring remarks at the dedication ceremony, County Council President Craig Rice, the son of a Vietnam veteran, noted the importance of having a peaceful place to visit to reflect and remember the sacrifices of our veterans.Among those participating was retired Navy Cmdr. Everrett Alvarez Jr. of Potomac, who was the longest-held prisoner of war in Vietnam. 

3.public.art.glass_sculpture