Public Art in the Park
Town Branch Park was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with LexArts, to commission artists and designers from around the world to reinterpret the history and ecology of Town Branch through public art in the park. The winning art piece, called First Impressions, was designed by Jason Klimoski of StudioKCA. It is a small amphitheater built out of carbon negative concrete in the shape of a fossil — to represent the limestone geologic history of downtown Lexington. Steel strips of words in between each concrete piece of the fossil will mark different phases in history. The shape of the fossil uses the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical concept found throughout nature.
“Our sculpture proposal, First Impressions, seeks to draw attention to the critical role all things big and small play in shaping what is to come. We hope to create a piece that makes visitors aware of our shared history on this planet, and encourages exploration and stewardship of our shared environment, in the hopes of making a positive impact on it.”
EXPLORE “NATURE’S MATH”
First Impressions is embedded in the landscape of Town Branch Park, and takes its form from a giant fossil. Visitors can walk, sit, and climb on a sculpture based on the Fibonacci Sequence.
HISTORIC TIMELINE SCRIBED INTO THE SHELL OF A FOSSIL
The piece is comprised of approximately 120 interlocking precast concrete panels bolted to a steel frame. Between each concrete panel is a flush-mounted steel “rib plate” inscribed with a historic event from our shared past — from the beginning of Earth’s geological record, to present day Lexington. Visitors are invited to read these historical events as they sit, climb, and explore the curved ridges of the shell.
HELPS TO KEEP THE AIR CLEAN
To reduce its carbon footprint and have a positive impact on the environment, we hope to build First Impressions’ concrete panels from 24,300 tons of locally sourced, reclaimed concrete from local construction projects and the Town Branch development. Doing so will not only divert this material from Lexington’s waste stream, it will capture approximately 900 kg of carbon dioxide and save 1,360 gallons of water per ton, equating to 21,870,000 kg of captured carbon dioxide, and 33,048,000 gallons of water saved. Additionally, our hope is to introduce a photocatalytic additive to the precast panels that will actively work to sequester and dissolve CO2 in the air, helping to keep the air (and the sculpture) clean on a daily basis.
ILLUMINATES AT NIGHT
LED fixtures are planned that will fit under the rib plate and will illuminate the shape at each joint, so that even at night when viewed from around the park, the shape will be visible within the overall landscape of Town Branch Park.
FIELD TRIP GUIDE FOR STUDENTS
Town Branch Park is teaming up with teachers from Fayette County Public Schools to develop a field trip guide to accompany the art design — to ensure the piece is useful to teachers throughout the district and to encourage classrooms to visit the park. The guide will cover curriculum standards and activities for math, science, social studies, and language arts.
Town Branch Park Design Competition
SCAPE Studio won an international design competition for the Town Branch Commons project in 2012. Town Branch Park was envisioned as the heart of Town Branch Commons.
SCAPE understood the cultural and ecological significance Town Branch Creek held for our city and the design they proposed both honored and reflected that history. Lexington was founded along the banks of Town Branch, which was once described as a "magnificent stream . . .whose green banks were hemmed with the brightest flowers." Today, Town Branch is a hidden waterway buried deep beneath roadways and parking lots through most of the city. By peeling away these layers of concrete and blacktop in what is today Manchester Street parking lot, Town Branch Park will expose and restore the stream bed and a piece of our history. Building upon SCAPE’s award winning design concept with a thoughtful programming plan and governance structure, Town Branch Park will enhance the quality of life in Lexington and nurture the health and well-being of our people, the entire community, the environment, and our economy.
SCAPE is a landscape architecture and urban design studio based in New York City that works to create positive change in communities. Kate Orff, SCAPE’s founder and lead designer, was recently named a 2017 MacArthur Fellow (“Genius Award”) in large part due to her work in Lexington. She is the first landscape architect to win this prestigious award.