My proposed sculpture project, entitled Family Circle, celebrates the Buckeye site and establishes a meaningful place of welcome for the community. Family Circle creates a dynamic place that encircles and invites users through the space and towards the campus buildings. Upon entry, viewers are invited on a journey of exploration and discovery through natural materials, tactile surfaces, ancient symbols, icons, patterns and colors.
Conceptually, the Buckeye Project design examines the evolutionary nature of our advance through time and space in a broad context. It reaches over time to acknowledge glacial epochs, and topographical changes. Cycles of change encoded in the landscape and in the changing stories of human lives are signified. Symbolic artifacts connect diverse cultures entwined in destiny forming Buckeye’s rich community history. Family Circle honors the site and proclaims that we are all heirs to this remarkable place and epic story.
My Initial concepts are drawn from the extraordinary story of Cleveland’s earth formations and their history.
Cleveland’s oldest stone formation is the bed-rock of the Paleozoic era.
In the Paleozoic era, coal, limestone, shale, and sandstone deposits of the Ohio region were formed.
In the excavation of the St. Luke’s Pointe site, large sandstone boulders were unearthed. In keeping with the “Green Campus” initiative, stones were preserved for use in the landscape design.
The structure of natural stone outcroppings will provide an opportunity to engage a small portion of the geological history of the site. It presents the ancient stones as artifacts and reveals the complex processes at work in the environment to students and visitors of the campus. Cleveland is known for its outcroppings of Devonian shale and sandstone.
Outcroppings of stone connect us to ancient events, revealing layers of time and earthly resources beyond mortal time. Stones are important markers connecting us with ancient primordial events.
Living Artifacts are preserved, revealed and celebrated by the Family Circle sculpture project. Specimen quality old trees embellish the site, adding a legacy of grandeur and layers of history. The mighty oak has, throughout the centuries, been the subject of story, song and proverb. More than 80 species of this beautiful tree are found in North America. All oaks are deciduous trees with toothed leaves and heavy, furrowed bark. A large Northern red oak (Quercus rubra) anchors the corner entrance of the Harvey Rice School /Public Library campus. It dominates the site, enfolding the place in shade and the calming embrace of a mature majestic shade tree.
The towering red oak is encircled with a series of cast concrete low seat walls that float along the drip line of the tree to ensure its root safety.
Each seat wall is anchored by outcroppings of stones scattered along the bench wall surfaces and ground plane. Visitors entering the circle are engaged in a matrix of energy, observation and reflection. Viewers move between encounters with ancient earth stones and reflective glass mosaics.
Designated portions of the seat walls are shrouded in glass mosaic renderings of indigenous textile designs from African, Hungarian and Native American cultures. These emblems of ancient cultures and iconic forms enliven the circle with the cumulative energy and creativity of the diverse human family.
NJena, studio assistant packing mosaic segments for transport to Cleveland
We are now in Cleveland on site to begin construction of poured concrete forms.
Sandstone boulders were unearthed and excuvated from their ancient resting places to be used in The Family Circle.