Thursday, September 23, 2010

Art Downtown: Synergy

UConn Waterbury recently unveiled a new sculpture by nationally-known artist Barton Rubenstein called Synergy. The sculpture was created as part of the Connecticut Art in Public Spaces program.

Barton was selected with the help of the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, which has slide banks of thousands of artworks by artists in the state and beyond.

In addition to adding a sculpture to the UConn campus, the courtyard was upgraded with a basketball court and a paved area for outdoor activities.

One of the interesting things about this sculpture is that it was created through a collaborative process. Sometimes an artist works alone (so many times an artist works alone!), sometimes an artist creates something to meet specific guidelines. For this artwork, the sculptor worked with a committee from UConn which included administrative staff, art faculty, facilities staff, and student representatives. The committee presented the artist with a wide range of concepts, desires and needs, and the artist came back with a proposal that met the committee's input and still stayed within budget.

One of the requested features was a water aspect (symbolic of Waterbury), which is why the sculpture has a constant waterfall flowing from the tops of the steel structures. Steel was chosen as more practical than brass, but the artwork also incorporates a lighting element which creates an illusion of a brassy color where the light strikes the steel.

The twisting columns vary in height, adding visual complexity, avoiding monotony.

The perceived color of the forms changes with the light, both artificial and natural.

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