A Fragment of the Universe - CODAworx

A Fragment of the Universe

Client: County of Sacramento

Completion date: 2011

Artwork budget: $105,000

Project Team


Joan Moment


Brent Kelly

Corgan Associates

Public Art Agent

Shelly L. Willis

Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Art in Public Places

Art Consultant

Erica Behrens, Director, USA/Canada

Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc.

Industry Resource

Michael C. Mayer, Managing Director

Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc.


Joan Moment’s A FRAGMENT OF THE UNIVERSE, is located in the new Sacramento International Airport Terminal B and commissioned by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Art in Public Places. It consists of a 216 square foot glass tesserae floor mosaic fabricated and installed by Mayer of Munich, Inc. Based on my painting/design, the mosaic is located at the top of a 3 story escalator and positioned at the head of a corridor that connects shuttle trains to departing flights. With its arresting color palette and prominent position in a light-suffused atrium it functions as a landmark for travelers.


The goal of this project was to create an original work of art that is structurally integrated into the architectural support system—and function as a site-specific work of art: floor mosaic in a high-traffic, high visibility area of the airport. I chose glass tesserae mosaic for its inherent luminosity and durability. It is the only piece in the airport situated directly beneath a light filled skylight. This enhances its reflective qualities, interacting with the sky and surrounding landscape. The mosaic’s brilliant colors and circular forms, alluding to water and air and aerial views of the earth and sky, connect to the experience of flying, and reinforce the architect’s goal of bringing the “outside/in”.

The mosaic’s imagery is composed of connected, circular forms evoking the night sky, outer space, planetary forms, and crop circles. The high visual impact of this mosaic derives from its deep blue colors and the repeated image of the circle—a universal symbol shared by people from all cultures from prehistoric times to the present. Its location is adjacent to stores and cafes and it serves as an easy meeting place or directional marker for travelers before they pass through security.


I served as artist, designer and project manager, working closely with Gabriel Mayer and the mosaic team. I chose Franz Mayer of Munich, Inc. for its internationally recognized expertise in glass mosaic and its reputation for working closely with artists. I met with Gabriel Mayer early on in my studio where he viewed my paintings and explained fabrication methods that would be appropriate for my painting. I made several designs and simplified them to meet the fabrication budget.

The glass was fabricated to match the exact colors in my painting. I coordinated the fabrication, installation and transportation of the mosaic with Mayer of Munich and Shelly Willis, Sacramento’s Art in Public Places director, APP staff and Brent Kelly, the Project Architect of the new airport terminal B building and County representatives.

I toured the construction site with Kelly and Willis prior to installation and met with Mayer of Munich’s technicians at the airport site while they were installing the piece.

I coordinated the photo documentation of the mosaic. Creating a budget, I handled invoicing, payment of fabrication costs on a prearranged schedule, and purchased insurance coverage for two years for the installation period, 2010-2011. My project finished before the deadline.

Additional Information

I have been told by Shelly Willis, who has spent many hours at the airport on every project, that my mosaic has been highly popular amongst adults and children. Its brilliant palette, universal forms and prime location contribute to this response. It has the advantage of being seen by travelers and family who are not traveling because it is located before you enter the security gates.