The Fine Arts Gallery Installation was designed
for the 50th year Anniversary Design Competition of the University of Arkansas. The project was especially significant given that
the Fine Arts Building was designed by Edward Durrell Stone, a canonic
modern American architect who was a Fayetteville, Arkansas native.
The assignment was to build a series of wall panels
and exhibition elements that would organize the art show and re-organize
the landscape in front of the gallery while making an architectural statement regarding Edward Stone. Our concept developed around the
existing mobiles of Alexander Calder which were a primary part of the gallery collection.
The mobiles were acquired through the friendship between Edward Stone and Calder and as the story goes, when they were delivered to the university warehouse, they were refused because the warehouse attendant thought they were all broken during shipment.
In our design, a matrix of folded panels were generated, derivative of the geometrical analysis and projection of
an existing Calder piece on to the gallery floor. This matrix
was then given multiple functions, separating the gallery space into distinct exhibition
zones while allowing for circulation, connecting the
gallery interior with the landscape through visual penetration of folded panels
through the fenestration and finally carrying the matrix to the gallery ceiling, another tribute to the Calder mobiles. The visual impact was both
impressive and sensual given the historical context. It not only provided a sense of acknowledgement for the faculty, it informed the public of their never thought of connections to the high art world, in Fayetteville, in Arkansas. Overall it gave us a sense of accomplishment in our very first teaching year. Thanks to all the volunteering students, Gallery director Jackie Golden and chairman David Beague for their support.