Hey people. There's been a lot going on art-wise lately. Some of you have heard about some big commission I was competing for, but no one really knew the details because I didn't want any of that info out there until I had presented my proposal to the selection committee. But here's how it all went down and what is going to happen:
The job was to design an "entry feature" for a special outdoor classroom at a school in my hometown. This outdoor classroom is part of a larger national program to educate preschoolers about nature and the environment. The school itself is on the national register of historic places. They'd like to begin incorporating artwork into their site, and make it an artistic destination eventually.
Other things the committee was looking for in terms of this project was to welcome the public to the site, draw attention to the site and the program, emphasize nature, reflect the historic significance of the site, and be attractive/appealing to children.
The entrance of the outdoor classroom is set back off the road, in a shady area among tall pines. Not very conducive to "attention getting/ welcoming". I decided my entry feature would begin well before the actual entrance; at the door of the school itself practically. One way to attract attention is to create a directional flow to the area in question. My idea: a herd of deer running along the side of the school towards the nature classroom, jumping the fence, and one deer inside the classroom itself.
Next up: designing the entrance itself. I based the doorway design on a stylized one room schoolhouse, with 3 branches to represent that this school is about nature. Also, we are a river town, so a family of blue herons (a locally found bird) would be roosting on it. I again had to use my developing illustration skills to get this across. Not whiz-bang, but not bad.
Both other candidates designed very elaborate patio areas that looked impressive, but when you drilled down, they weren't included in their bids, and apparently the committee concluded what they were offering in terms of artwork fell short of what I was offering and had even gone ahead and created. Also I used far more of the funding budgeted to all of us for our design work for materials, and even produced usable work. There wasn't one question that was asked that I was unprepared to answer. I'd been eating breathing and sleeping this project for weeks, and it showed.
I am so thrilled to get this job. It will be amazing to get to walk down the street from my house and see and major public installation of my own artwork!