Timeless Purpose - CODAworx

Timeless Purpose

Submitted by Deedee Morrison

Client: Forsyth Community Public Library

Location: Winston Salem, NC, United States

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $70,000

Project Team

Industry Resource

Bobby Trammel

Tri-Fab Steel

Industry Resource

David Polito

Politco CAD Progamming

Industry Resource

Scott Haynes

DSW Laser Cutting

Industry Resource

John Arrowood

Arrowood & Arrowood Engineering

Industry Resource

Steve Cotney

Cotney Architectural Lighting

Industry Resource

Frank L Bloom Contractors

Landscape Architect

Stimmel Associates Landscape Architect


For the newly designed Winston-Salem Library, the dramatic backdrop of the library’s architecture provided an opportune setting for the choreographed lighting elements to be integrated into the public art design. A 9’ polished stainless steel book with a Corten book jacket adorns the grassy lawn in front of the library. The books rests on a 11’ stainless steel easel. The laser cut lettering lights up a night and cast a shadow of the wording onto the lawn. There are 8 choreographed light shows that have been programed into the LED lighting system


As a public artist, Morrison’s work combines traditional sculpture construction methods with cutting-edge digital design and fabrication technologies bridging the fields of history, biogeography and art. As a result, a unique style has evolved that includes using industrial materials and laser cutting technologies to create dimensional sculptures with LED programmed lighting elements. Morrison’s teams approach for developing the art concept is to create renderings and models that are modified based on community engagement and feedback prior to finalization of the drawings and fabrication of the design. Final design includes; construction documents, stamped drawings, detailed narrative descriptions of the public art concept, a listing of materials and fabrication techniques, and long term maintenance manual for the artwork. For every public art project that Deedee has been involved with, she has fabricated the work from industrial grade materials, designed for low maintenance and environmental impact and to ensure long term durability. The artwork has been installed by the deadline and within budget.


The Timeless Purpose is located in the new reading garden and unveiled on the day the new library opens to the public. It serves as a focal point of the library and will be tied visually and physically to the surrounding environment and downtown community. Timeless Purpose is be highly visible to library patrons, passing pedestrians, and motorists; and is visible from inside the library auditorium and from its third story balcony. Timeless Purpose celebrates and enhances the positive impact the library has on the community. Morrison worked with the stakeholders to craft the message that for the laser cut pattern onto the pages. Winston-Salem is a community oriented library that serves patrons from all walks of life and nationalities. It was determined through workshops with students, patrons and staff that the word “Library” translated into over one hundred languages, would best express it’s “welcome for all” policy. LED lights were installed behind the pages and choreographed lighting effects cast word patterns on to the lawn from dusk to dawn.

Additional Information

Deedee Morrison has worked with 12 libraries across the United States on the public art concept, design and fabrication; and with every project she is always amazed and encouraged by the pride and sense of community that surrounds the library. A public library truly fosters and builds a sense of community that connects the young and old along with a new reader and the scholar. For the newly designed Forsyth Library, the design elements re-think the shape of the recognizable - creating a contemporary motif from the traditional understanding of the purpose and use of the library.