Practically, this series of green glass sculptures, set into specially cast concrete units, serve as bollards for the Melvin Municipal Building Plaza in Greensboro, North Carolina. Aesthetically, while responding to the Brutalist architecture of the government building they precede, the bollards also playfully invite people to investigate the colorful glass and the themes present in the work. The goals for this project were to place artwork that created a physical barrier to vehicles, while also creating a space for intimate pedestrian interactions and reflections with public artwork representative of the region.
Commissioned by the Cemala Foundation, the wife and husband team of Crystal Schenk and Shelby Davis (CR&SH Studio Art) used the themes of Greensboro’s civic pride, identity and diversity as the core of their design. According to the artists, Greensboro is built on a shared appreciation of innovation, diversity, education, the outdoors, and its role as the “Gate City”. The Five Hearths reflect moments that, taken together, have created a community and a city to be proud of, honoring the citizens who cross through the plaza everyday.
Schenk and Davis envisioned the project in glass and subcontracted Bullseye Studio to be the glass fabricator. The artists made the artwork and models, while Bullseye Studio performed the reverse-relief casting, hand-finished the glass slabs and consulted on how to light and install the glass once placed in the concrete bollards.
The installation consists of five 2.5” thick kiln-glass sculptures with imagery cast as negative space into the back surfaces, set into concrete bollards of varying heights. Due to the expressly designed lighting, the artworks attract interest during both day and night and are clearly visible up close and from a distance. Each cast glass element ranges in size from 24″ x 9″ to 25″ x 11″.
Bullseye Studio is proud to have helped Schenk and Davis realize their designs in glass, capturing the stories and moments so important to this work.