Client: Uptown Crossing Business Improvement District 16
Location: milwaukee, WI, United States
Completion date: 2020
Artwork budget: $21,000
Artist, designer builder
“TOGETHER FEATHERS,” a solar-powered public sculpture was created and installed in a pocket park winning the 2021 Mayor’s Design Award. Much like a set of wings needs every single one of its feathers to fly, in order for our civilization to thrive we need the collective unity of all its people. That said I give you, “Together Feathers.” The overall wing concept that becomes lighter and brighter as they spread to the sky, is inspired by a unified people’s soaring energy and passion. The piece is rooted in Milwaukee’s rich industrial history, locomotion, and a focus on an inclusive future. Specifically, the extension of the streetcar lines to Wauwatosa drives design features such as the hydraulic arms and train wheel shapes. The sculpture is made of mild steel and frosted acrylic sheets that are lit with solar-powered LEDs.
"Together Feathers," was created with the intention of bringing people together and beautifying the neighborhood. Set in a pocket park with landscaping and public benches people can gather, have a seat and enjoy locally-roasted coffee or beer while interacting with the sculpture's selfie moment. We created the wings in such a way that folks can stand in between them and appear as if they too have wings.
It took several site visits, taking in the park, and watching as people visited the location in order to decide that a public sculpture was right for the park. Then after considering the surrounding neighborhoods’ history and development I started sketching ideas that would engage, educate, and activate people to interact with one another. Meeting with BID 16 and discussing the project lead us to choose the location in the park almost as a welcoming entrance. Working with my small team consisting of a studio assistant and neighbors we dug holes and poured concrete for the pylons and concrete base. Then creation of the final schematics for fabrication were completed. Allowing for the laser cutting of steel, Acrylite acrylic, LEDs, 3D printing filament, etc. process to be started or purchased. After receiving the laser-cut pieces of the design we welded those together to create the bases for the feather to connect to. Then fabricating the fractal shapes for the feathers of the wings, we began 3D printing the custom-designed fixtures that would not only hold the LED pixels and wiring but make them sealed from the elements. We then used a CNC to cut out the acrylic panels for the fractal feathers that defuse the LED lights giving you that soft ambient glowing effect in the eve
Special thanks: Kelly West Andre St. Louis Matt Minga Brian Engen Credit: Kelly Michael Anderson Filmmaker + Photographer + Editor https://www.kellymichaelanderson.com