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4 artworks commissioned for Salt Lake's public safety center

Published July 17, 2012 11:08 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Four artworks — sculptures in bronze and stainless steel, a water feature, and a prismatic "light show" — have been commissioned to grace the inside and outside of Salt Lake City's new Public Safety Building.

The five-member Salt Lake City Art Design Board vetted submissions to add artwork to the new building, which is slated to open summer 2013. City fire and police officials, emergency operations personnel, city engineers and community members were also involved in the decision.

Funding for the four projects is provided under the "1% for Public Art" program.

"These works of art will nicely complement our municipal campus," Mayor Ralph Becker said in a statement Monday. "In a city well known for its arts and cultural offerings, I look forward to these new pieces and the impact they'll have on our public space."

Here is the info on the four pieces of art:

"Serve & Protect" • bronze sculpture by Greg Ragland, Park City, Utah • Two open hands, side by side, form the American Sign Language sign for "to serve." The hands will be cast in bronze, 10 feet by 3 feet by 4½ feet. The sculpture "glorifies emergency service responders," Ragland said in a statement. "The same graceful hands which serve us are also hands strong enough to protect and care for us." The sculpture will be placed in the Public Safety Building's plaza garden.

"Wave Harmonics" • water feature by Living Lenses, the artistic team of Po Shu Wang and Louise Bertelsen, Berkeley, Calif. • An 8-foot stainless steel "hemisphere" installed at a 45-degree angle over a 2-foot copper bowl filled with water. The outside of the ball will be mirrored to reflect its surroundings, while the inside will be illuminated by a solar-powered LED light. (The solar panel will be installed on the plaza's canopy.) At ground level, two foot pedals can be pressed to activate an underground system that strikes the bowl to cause waves to form in the water. The water feature will be located in the plaza.

Untitled • Stainless steel sculpture by Buster Simpson, Seattle, Wash. • A 35-foot sculpture (to be placed at the corner of 500 South and 300 East) will take silhouette profiles of all the Public Safety Building's employees, to be combined into a universal composite profile. That profile will be repeated in metal and aligned in a 360-degree sculpture that will be illuminated by colorful, pulsating lights at night. The lights can also be used to broadcast real-time conditions or special-event information.

"Through the Safety Lens" • Illuminated artwork by Alexander Tylevich, St. Paul, Minn. • Three transparent rings suspended in midair over the grand staircase in the building's atrium. The three rings will use surges of light to animate the space, with daily "light shows" based on significant points of the day.