“Mississippi River Renewal” and “Ripples and Connections”
St. Cloud State University
We were recently selected (from a national art call) to design, fabricate and install two, large, site-specific public artworks in the newly renovated Health and Wellness Innovation Center at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) in St. Cloud, MN. This was a Percent for Art project that began as one project, but grew into two, based on the panel’s strong response to our designs.
Incorporate salvaged gym floor and pool tile from the original historic building
Design large artwork that could straddle two floors
Support the six dimensions of wellness
Reflect and celebrate building users, local history and natural location
Honor overall guiding principles: Connected, Engaged, Inspired
Be highly original and compatible with architectural style and scale
Be durable, with minimal maintenance, to last as long as the building
Include artist lectures on public art to the student body
Design: Honoring the Mississippi River
To fully understand the campus, its history, student body and surrounding natural elements, we made a pre-RFP visit to SCSU, which sits high on the banks of the Mississippi River. The nearby Beaver Islands, once connected by wooden docks, are just upstream. The water and islands would be our inspirational themes.
Working from our site knowledge and complex engineering drawings, we created and presented three abstract designs and a custom mosaic sample at our finalist presentation. We were awarded the initial project – and asked to create a second, companion piece for the main-floor lobby!
Materials: Mixed Media Mosaics
We fabricated the mosaics using colored glass and glass gems, mirror and hand-made tile. We created a faux frame for the flowing, two-story “Mississippi River Renewal” with the salvaged gym flooring and pool tiles. The second mosaic, “Ripples and Connections,” uses the flooring and tile to mimic docks extended from the concentric circles of islands and water.
SCSU staff are thrilled with the project: “Your work truly activates the space. It’s spectacular.” The college has invited Stacia to return in the upcoming academic year for a second lecture, with the installed artwork as her backdrop.
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