What do fossils, pineapples and Town Branch Park have in common?
Town Branch Park is thrilled to announce the winning design for its first public art installation — an original piece named First Impressions, by Jason Klimoski of StudioKCA.
Like the history of our city and the sedimentary limestone rock it was built upon, First Impressions has many layered meanings that make it a rich opportunity for programming and educational visitors like school classrooms — one of the key target audiences for the art. There are history, science, and even math concepts embedded in the design!
In fact, did you know this shape is based on the Fibonacci sequence? If not, you are not alone — it was news to me too! This same mathematical concept is found throughout nature — in pineapples, sunflowers and pinecones just to name a few — and is one of the most famous formulas in mathematics.
Before developing his idea, Jason came to Lexington to learn more about our city and meet with community members. He created this original piece to reflect the geologic history and ecology of this region. And like many of StudioKCA’s pieces that use recycled materials to tell a story — for example Head in the Clouds and Skyscraper — First Impressions’ panels will be built from locally-sourced, reclaimed concrete and will include an additive to help clean the air by absorbing pollutants, thereby reducing the carbon footprint.
StudioKCA’s creations are not only memorable and beautiful, but they teach the viewer something and create a dialogue between the art, the visitor, and the physical world.
In this case, steel plates between each rib of the fossil will mark different phases in history. Visitors will be able to read these historical events as they sit, climb and explore the curved ridges of the fossil, which will be large enough to act as a small amphitheater for visiting classrooms and groups.
StudioKCA was selected from 180 applicants from around the world to design art for Town Branch Park. The National Endowment for the Arts grant we received that funded this work covers only the design phase of the art. Town Branch Park will be seeking other grants and private donations to build the sculpture when the park is ready to break ground. Until then, Jason will be meeting with the planning teams to select a site for the art and integrate it into final design and programming plans. We are so excited to include this incredible public art in our community’s signature park!
YOUR INPUT MATTERS
StudioKCA was one of six finalists whose proposed ideas were displayed at the Living Arts & Science Center, Lyric Theatre, and Downtown Library during the May 17 LexArts HOP. Community input was gathered by student volunteers from the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council and presented to the selection committee by Valerie Newberg, youth representative on the selection committee.
“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.”
GET TO KNOW THE ARTIST
Having original site-specific public art by StudioKCA will help Town Branch Park achieve its vision of becoming a world-class signature park for Lexington. StudioKCA has been honored with multiple design awards including four American Institute of Architects Awards, the AIA New York City of Dreams Pavilion Winner, a SARA New York Chapter Design Award of Excellence, two Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards, three Interior Design Magazine Best of Year Award Honors, two Architizer A+ Award Finalists, and The Architect’s Newspaper Best of Young Architects Award Honorable Mention.
The firm's public pavilions and installations, such as Head in the Clouds, A Comet Lands in Brooklyn (Rosetta), NASA Orbit Pavilion, Drop, Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale), Night and Day, have been exhibited on Governors Island and Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City, at the Center For Architecture in New York, the AIA National Convention, the World Science Festival, The Exploratorium Museum, The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, The Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens, Jan Van Eyck Square in Bruges, Belgium, and at the Jockey Club in Sao Paulo, Brazil.