Public Art Proposal: Echo by Billings & Wasserman

Working together, Elizabeth and Andrea have been producing public art for more than 20 years—designing, fabricating, and installing site-specific public art projects of all sizes and budgets.  Both alumni of Cranbrook Academy of Art, their work celebrates the history, the community, and biodiversity of a geographical area, connecting community with nature. Bold, as well as contemplative, respectful of the environment and a focal point, the artwork anchors the viewer to a location. The dynamically patterned artwork, integral with landscape, creates a quiet strength that can be taken in at a glance, or contemplated over time.

“We believe in the effect public art has in people’s lives and its ability to make a space become a significant place. Discovering a visual language that is meaningful while artistically distinguishing and celebrating the vibrancy of the landscape and community is essential to ensuring the work is visually, intellectually, and physically sustainable for visitors passing by and a continual discovery for the local community,” said their artists’ statement.

The duo’s work can be seen throughout Vermont (and other states) in places such as: UVM Medical Center, Vermont Law School, Burlington City Park, Burlington Interanational Airport, as well as in Newport, Montpelier, Isle La Motte, and Danville. Their work is also installed throughout New England, DC, Chicago, Florida, and New York.

The proposal: Surrounding the pond are numerous trees, which would be incorporated into “Echo.” Highly polished stainless steel mirrors would be installed on trees so as to reflect light and movement,  providing an added dimension or perspective on the area. In the areas closest to walking paths, the mirrors would be etched with the verses from a local poet, written about South Burlington.

Artist’s description:  We propose Echo, two installations of mirror stainless steel panels: a long ephemeral horizon along the edge of the woods next to the path that encircles the storm water ponds and sandblasted mirrored panels in the plaza or lawn area with poetry by South Burlington poet Major Jackson.

Installed at eye level on the trees along the southern edge of the path, the horizon line is made from approximately 150 – 200 rectangles that reflect the landscape and form a mirage of the forest, in the forest. The rectangles, approximately 3-6” wide x 14-18” long, are made from mirror polished stainless steel which gives a highHigh-qualityar image.

The mirror polished stainless is known for its durability, low maintenance, and ease in graffiti removal. The mirrored horizon becomes an illusion as it collaborates with the people and place of the Market Street Park, creating a different place altogether.

The poetry, commissioned specifically for this project by South Burlington resident and renowned poet Major Jackson, is sandblasted on larger rectangular mirrored panels and installed where people are most likely to congregate.

It is intriguingly wonderful to read the words among your own reflection and be gathered right into the poem itself.

This proposed public art installation is one of three proposals under consideration by the Public Art Committee, for installation at the Market Street Pond in City Center Park. In April 2017, the Committee will select one proposal to be implemented.

And, they want your input! Just fill out our feedback form and your comments will be shared with the Public Art Committee.

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