The Nebraska Arts Council just announced that Jeanine Centuori, FAIA, and Russell Rock of UrbanRock Design have successfully completed their commissioned artwork for the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln.
Architect Jeanine Centuori, who director of the Agency for Civic Engagement at Woodbury University, has been collaborating with artist Russell Rock at UrbanRock Design since 2000 producing many award-winning public art projects.
For Inside Outside, a façade piece that enlivens the windowless museum structure on the Centennial Mall in Lincoln, UrbanRock Design asked museum staff to select important representative artifacts from the museum collection to portray on pierced metal scrims suspended on the east façade of the building. The twelve panels, each measuring 10 feet high by 5 feet wide, are grouped in pairs reflecting specific areas of the collection. Voids within the metal create each image, allowing a second shadow image to cast upon the building’s brick exterior. At night, the panels are backlit and appear as an image reversal of their daytime condition.
This project is the result of their perceptual investigations that merge concepts, imagery, embodied experience, and architecture. The ornament to the building creates viewports into the museum’s collection with ephemeral imagery that shifts with light, view position, and distance.
The imagery consists of tools, dolls, keys, moccasins and shoes, musical instrument and speaking trumpet, and pot and ladle representing historical artifacts found in the museum. As morning light strikes these artworks, a shadow image is cast upon the brick wall of the inset envelop of the building. This creates a verso image looking much like a photographic film negative. At night, by back-lighting the panels, they appear as an image reversal of their daytime condition.
Depending on the viewer’s angle the artworks have various degrees of legibility. Sometimes they will appear to be organized but abstract dot patterns. As a viewer is changing his or her perspective to the panels, the artworks will move in and out of their recognizable image state. Poetically, the state of flux reflects how visitors can engage with items in the museum collection – the meaning and perceptual understanding becomes greater the more items we examine. History reveals itself in both direct and indirect ways. What we see today may not be how those things will be understood in the future.
Inside Outside is the latest addition to UrbanRock Design’s body of public environments and artworks located in urban centers around the United States. This commission was the result of a national competition. Centuori’s and Rock’s works consist of public spaces, integrated facades, urban median islands, transit art, art plans for municipalities, and residential architecture.