Artemis is a collaborative sculpture between artist Kyle Cunniff and myself. Kyle sculpted the form while I created the custom hand cut stained glass mosaic as well as the custom handmade ceramic tiles to adorn the sculpture. This 7ft tall mosaic owl is part of the 21st annual Art on the Streets exhibit in Colorado Springs. It is located on 528 S Tejon St at the intersection of Tejon St and E Moreno St. The sculpture will be up for viewing till the end of May 2020. It is for sale via the City of Colorado Springs.
|Artemis installed in Downtown Colorado Springs
|The ornate design on the back of the 3D mosaic sculpture 'Artemis'
|The eyes are created with a custom cut stained glass mosaic, a contrast from the handmade ceramic feathers on the owl's head.
|My partner Kyle and our son Ethan with me and Artemis - this was a collaborative sculpture between Kyle and I.
As all our collaborative projects, it all begins with a concept and lots of conversations =)
I created the sketch on the right which I digitally colored in. Then Kyle used my drawing to create the 3d model concept on the left. Looking at these early sketches, we knew this concept had to be realized into a tactile form which Kyle hand sculpted.
In a nutshell, the interior of the sculpture is created from polystyrene, mesh and a form of concrete called 'exterior foam coat'. Lots of work there but there isn't enough room on the blog to share this complex sculpture process. Above is my favorite shot of Kyle doing his thing!
Both Kyle and I have a growing interest in ceramics. For this project I created custom ceramic tiles for a portion of the sculpture. Above you can see some of the color samples I created for my color palette. To the right of those you can see some of the clay tiles in the drying process during the carving/clean-up phase.
The top of Artemis is the section with the majority of the ceramic tiles. That part has a really lovely pattern that will mostly not be seen from street level as the sculpture is 7 feet tall. Above it is seen outside during the loading for transport to Colorado Springs.
A similar patter is continued from the top of the head down the back of it.
The rest of the mosaic was created with custom stained glass shapes. Each piece was cut and arranged by me.
Kyle and I created a map of the owl's form and I sketched a rough outline of my patterns. I worked on top of these rough sketches, hand cutting each shape.
The objective was for the mosaic to resemble more of a hand sketch rather than a refined, neat and cleaned-up rendition of my concept drawing. I wanted the sculpture to feel more organic and hand made rather than a perfectly clean object reminiscent of manufactured forms.
Due to the size of the sculpture and the endless fitting and measuring of the form, gluing the mosaic was done in sections. The same was done with grouting.
Artemis weight approximately 300lbs. He is large, awkward to handle sculpture so Kyle designed a special dolly/cart for loading the sculpture for its transport from our Alamosa studio to downtown Colorado Springs, a 3 hour drive through the mountains.
In Colorado Springs we had a crew of city workers and as well as leaders of the Art on the Streets program welcome Artemis and to install him onto his new location in the downtown.
The above photo was taken during the installation of Artemis whom my son Ethan got to watch come alive in our studio. He inspected the owl the whole way through. As little as he still is, he was excited to see his mosaic friend be outside in a new and fun environment.
Below are a few more photos I took after the installation. I hope that the presence of Artemis in the downtown add a bit of whimsey and fun for the people passing by. If it brings even a fraction of the joy that it has brought to my son, then I could not be happier with what Kyle and I spent months working on.
Peekaboo! I see you ...
|I'm coming for you!
|I gotcha mommy =)