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Artists Seek Community Input for Public Art Project on South Walnut Street

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March 17, 2014

For more information, please contact:

Miah Michaelsen, Assistant Economic Development Director for the Arts, City of Bloomington Economic and Sustainable Development Department, 349.3534

Artists Seek Community Input for Public Art Project on South Walnut Street

Bloomington, Ind. - Artists Jiangmei Wu and Jon Racek are seeking community input for a public art project to be located at 2nd and Walnut Streets in Downtown Bloomington.

The project, entitled "(C)olumn," will be a 13-foot tall, illuminated, column-shaped "room" fabricated of stainless steel. (C)olumn was selected as the capstone public art project for the South Walnut Streetscape and will serve as a gateway to the BEAD district.

Another feature of (C)olumn is its participatory and inclusive design. Built into the final design process is an opportunity for public involvement. The sculpture, as designed, is comprised of individual words describing Bloomington which define not only the column's structure but also its visual composition. The artists are inviting the public to visit the project's website at by April 16 and suggest words that describe aspects of Bloomington for possible inclusion in the composition. The artists will review the words that have been submitted and select ones to complete the final column design. The words will then be laser-cut into steel using digital fabrication equipment. The sculpture is scheduled to be installed in fall of 2014 and is being administered by the City of Bloomington Arts Commission through the City's Percentage for the Arts program.

Both artists are members of the Indiana University Department of Apparel Merchandising & Interior Design. Jiangmei Wu earned her undergraduate degree in urban planning and design from the College of Architecture and Urban Planning of Tongji University in Shanghai. Her master of science in interior design and her master of fine arts in graphic design are both from Indiana University. She prefers to work in overlapping spaces between art, design, mathematics, science and engineering. Recently, she has been investigating the tectonic relationship between geometry, surface texture, algorithm and making techniques through the art and science of paper folding. Her new collection of Folded Light Art has gained attention world-wide and has been published in many design magazines internationally. Jon Racek, trained as an architect, is a multidisciplinary designer whose expertise emcompasses many areas, including architectural, landscape and industrial design. His work has been exhibited domestically and internationally and has been published in numerous publications, such as the New York Times and Time Magazine.

(C)olumn marks Wu and Racek's first public art project for the City of Bloomington.

This project is another effort under the City's strategy to leverage and expand the economic development potential of the arts in Bloomington. According to the 2012 Americans for the Arts study, Bloomington's nonprofit arts sector contributes $72.3 million to the local economy annually through direct spending by arts organizations and their audiences. For more information on the study visit the website.

For more information, please visit the project's website listed above or contact Assistant Economic Development Director for the Arts Miah Michaelsen at 349.3534.