Brower Hatcher, Providence, Rhode Island, in cooperation with Frank Russell, Greensboro, NC. Installed 2012 at Morehead Park at the intersection of Freeman Mill Road and West Lee Street. Brower Hatcher directs Mid-Ocean Studio in Providence, Rhode Island, a creative team of artists, designers, fabricators, and technical personnel who collaborate on the creation of his sculptures. His work reflects an interest in the underlying geometry of living organisms and natural systems. Mid-Ocean structures are often multi-layered linear geometric frameworks built of stainless steel. These matrixes often contain various combinations of embedded artifacts, glass, ceramics, metal, and LED lights. Suspended objects frequently reflect local historical and cultural influences. Interactive LED lighting technology provides site-specific responsiveness and illumination. Visit Brower Hatcher’s online portfolio.
“I am a strong believer in the power of public art as an instrument of revitalization.” When Brower visited Greensboro in November 2008 to present his plans for the Southwestern Cornerstone, he talked about the power of art outside museums, radiating its influence and communicating with its environment. He believes that successful public art draws people to it, makes them want to interact with it, and opens them up to conversations with others, helping create a sense of community.
The structure is made of stainless steel, with parts of it coated in three additional colors. Its appearance will change with the weather and with the time of day, and objects within the framework will rearrange themselves depending on where the viewer stands. The structure includes seating, allowing viewers to look up into it—and it is lit at night. Greensboro artist Frank Russell worked with students at Jones Elementary School to find or create the objects that are embedded in the stainless steel framework. Although the Cornerstone will not be designed to give viewers a specific message, the way the imbedded objects interact with each other will allow themes to emerge.
Frank Russell is a popular Greensboro maker of found object art, and has a growing reputation for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. He attended the University of South Carolina and Florida State, and has a background in art direction and broadcast television. A painter, designer, and sculptor for 30 years, Frank opened his Artmongerz Gallery on South Elm Street in Greensboro in 2004, and has been featured in more than 20 one-person shows and numerous collective exhibitions. Frank has conducted numerous workshops in local schools, introducing them to his fanciful sculptures and concept of re-using discarded materials in new ways. His ability to successfully relate to schoolchildren in a meaningful and inspiring way has led many schools to request his return year after year.
Click here to view all photos of fabrication, construction and the finished piece.