‘How We Move’ captures art in motion
Installation rolls into transit center
February 3, 2017
Summit County is proud of its public art and has to thank the Summit County Public Arts Advisory Board and its Public Arts program.
Coalville has its ongoing Artscape outdoor exhibit that features multi-media sculptures by an array of artists along Main Street. And last summer, the Dark Storefronts project, "Inside Out – Park City," photograph portraits of Summit County entrepreneurs photographed by Rebekah Stevens.
The program continues to roll along and its next stop is at the Summit County Transit Station at Kimball Junction with the installation called "How We Move."
The advisory board selected Salt Lake-based visual artist Kevin Arthofer for the new project after a three-month search.
Arthofer, who refurbished an upright piano at the National Ability Center a couple of years ago for the Art Pianos for All projects, said the transit center art fittingly reflects movement, and the subjects for the art were local athletes.
"I always like some kind of rigor, some sort of process that is separate from the true material fabrication process, in the art that I do," Arthofer said. "The other aspect of that is that I wanted to have the community in some shape or form create the art."
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The athletes Arthofer recruited for the project were 7-year-old mountain biker Theus Jedi Reed, Winter Sports School cross-country skier Maddie Morgan, Utah Olympic Park bobsled driver Jake Pelger, National Ability Center's hand cycler Anne Wessman, soccer coach Paco Javier, who is an avid walker, and ski jumper Kailey Bitner, who trains at Utah Olympic Park.
"We monitored 3,000 observations of each activity, which translates into 10 observations per second," Arthofer said. "We took the data and used computational code to come up with a unique pattern of movement and turn those into seven different sections of the movement."
Arthofer, with the help of a computational scientist, translated the data into what he calls acceleration ribbons, which are represented by strands of aluminum that are part of the art.
These half-inch-thick anodized aluminum ribbons are attached to steel bases that are mounted in the concrete foundation of the transit center kiosks.
"The ribbons visualize and represent a sort of vapor trail that someone leaves behind when they move," Arthofer said.
The wavy aluminum ribbons are attached to the steel bases in subtle angles, which was an artistic decision.
"At some point, the science had to stop and we needed an aesthetic," Arthofer said. "Mounting the ribbons flat didn't work, because we wanted to provide a multi-dimensional art experience."
"How We Move" is a number-oriented work of art as well.
"The seven ribbons are attached to six different bases on the six kiosks at the transit center," Arthofer said. "So there are 42 ribbons total. Each ribbon requires two bolts that need to be attached to the base. So, that's a total of 84 bolts."
The transit center public art installation was initiated in 2011.
"The project was initiated as far back as 2011," said Kristen Mitchell, Summit County Public Art Advisory Board chairwoman. "As soon as the transit center was proposed, the board saw an opportunity for public art."
Mitchell said Caroline Rodriguez, regional transportation planning director, liked the idea.
"She was so enthusiastic and supportive of how we could use art to make public transportation more visible and connected to the community," she said.
Art installations such as "How We Move" helps the Summit County Public Arts Advisory Board fulfill its goal to "celebrate and unite Summit County residents through public art," according to its mission.
"We want to unite Summit County with exhibiting public art, and through the making of public art, as well as align public art with county goals," Mitchell said. '"It's not just supporting art and the creation of art for art sake, but to use art to increase diversity in issues such as sustainability and transportation."
The board sent out a national request for proposal last November and received a "phenomenal" response, Mitchell said.
"I think because this area is renowned, the caliber of the submissions were very high," she said. "We had people from New York, L.A. [and] New Orleans. We narrowed those down to four finalists and went through and interview process.
"Incredibly, our own local artists had submissions that were on par with this group of established public artists who have displayed all over the United States," Mitchell said. "The quality of some of our local artists stood above the others in regards to innovation and thoughtfulness regarding how the project relates to the community. We were delighted we could use an artist like Kevin who was already integrated in the community."
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