A team and myself recently finished a work of art where I'm employed at A.R.T. Research www.thinksculpture.com The artist is John Safer and A.R.T Research has made many sculptures for him. Well he came to us with a 4 ft acrylic model and wanted a 35 foot stainless steel high polish piece titled Quest to be made. Trouble shooting, lots of form work, lots of polishing and eleven months later and it got shipped out and will be at the Johns Hopkin's new home for the Wilmer Eye Institute. This is the second major sculpture that I have worked on. For those who were at Savannah, I was a part of Susan Ewing's Crystalline Tower in Cincinnati.

Having worked on these projects I think it's really interesting to look at jewelry or some of the small sculptures that we all make and superimpose it or actually make it larger than life so to speak. What would look like, is bigger better, have you turned your jewelry into public art?

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Hi Nathan, this is something I've always wanted to do, but all of the proposals for public art installations I've seen want to see your previous installation work - catch 22 - how to get started without prior experience to show on a large scale. Any ideas to share?
This was the topic of a seminar at last years Yuma Symposium. It was an eye-opener as to the rigors and requirements of doing public works. Competitive bidding, Insurance, legal liability, public safety, maintenance contracts and vandalism deterrent were just a few of the challenges to doing these kinds of things. It also often requires considerable project management skills to coordinate a team and troubleshoot your way through a myriad of engineering issues that often impact aesthetics. The best advice for getting started was pretty simple - go to work for someone who already has a track record of doing this type of art. The people who will take a risk on an untested artist for this type of thing are very far and few between.
I agree with 2Roses that this can be a really a battle when approaching a large scale piece. Being a part of a couple projects has been really rewarding and feels like you've conquered a mountain when it is done. I know in Susan's case it was her craftsmanship of the model that really sold her idea to the park board which was made up of community members. I have heard of some artists who just photoshop their work into pictures of public spaces to have a 'virtual portfolio'.
Some cities have really great public art committees that really help you out, others not so much. In that case you'll have a three inch binder full of papers and receipts.
As far as making a piece, a local fabrication shop may be able to help, but of course you'll know more about your work needs to be made and the best way to not stray from you vision. Other ideas I've thought about are just using free or readily available recyclable material to experiment with scale.


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