Friday, September 20, 2013

Metro Arts Selects Christian Moeller for Korean Veterans Boulevard Roundabout Installation

Posted By on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 5:07 AM

Moellers proposed installation
  • Moeller's proposed installation

Christian Moeller is about to join Alice Aycock's "Ghost Ballet" and the Batman building in the race for Nashville's most iconic structure: His installation was just approved by Metro Arts for the roundabout at Korean Veterans Boulevard.

Moeller is a German-born artist who currently teaches at UCLA's department of Design Media Arts and works out of a studio in Silver Lake, Calif. The proposed installation will be "an homage to the Native Americans who first populated Middle Tennessee," composed of 35 painted red cedar poles. Each pole will be 85 feet tall, and will be spaced in an irregular organic pattern on the roundabout. At night, the installation will be lit by up-lights, and a custom-made LED cap will glow from the tip of each pole. A timetable for the project has not been established.

Read Metro Arts' full press release after the jump.

Artist’s Design Seeks To “Turn Journey Around Roundabout Into An Exciting Visual Experience”

The Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts) today approved the selection of artist Christian Moeller to create a new public art installation at the Korean Veterans Boulevard Roundabout, adjacent to the Music City Center convention facility.

Moeller’s proposal was selected by the Commission’s Public Art Committee from several proposals to develop public art in the roundabout, which connects Korean Veterans Boulevard with Rosa Parks Boulevard in downtown Nashville.

“The installation at the KVB Roundabout will be a major new addition to our city’s growing public art collection. We are so fortunate to have Christian Moeller, an artist whose work is known around the world, to create a signature work of art for this iconic location in downtown Nashville,” said Jennifer Cole, executive director of Metro Arts.

A homage to the Native Americans who first populated Middle Tennessee, Moeller’s work is a composition of native hardwood and natural colors — red orange, light blue, dark blue, light green and egg white — with 35 painted red cedar poles standing 85-feet tall. They will be spaced in an irregular organic pattern throughout the surface area of the roundabout. Moeller’s proposal calls for the verticality of the poles to vary between zero- to 15-degrees from the center axis.

During the design process, I revisited Native American arts and was reminded of the striking distribution of color applied to natural surfaces, very often wood, in these native works,” Moeller said.

At night, the piece will be lit by 15 up-lights, one for each pair of poles, creating a distinctive display of color, light and contrast. Each pole tip will be covered with a custom-made “LED lightcap” to emit a light glow at nighttime.

In his proposal, Moeller focused on “turning the entire roundabout into an artwork.

“I designed a piece that occupies almost the entirety of the available space in order to create more volume. The result is a large-scale piece characterized by color with unlimited 360-degree viewing angles, making the journey around this roundabout an exciting visual experience,” Moeller said.

A timetable for installation has not been established, Cole said, as the roundabout site is currently owned by the State of Tennessee.

“There is a multi-step process laid out by the State for excess land acquisition. Metro Government will work with Tennessee Department of Transportation and the state’s Excess Land Section to ensure all procedures are properly followed and handled in as timely a manner as possible,” Cole said.

Moeller’s work may be found around the globe, in such locations as the Changi Airport in Singapore, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Science Museum in London, Frederieke Taylor Gallery in New York City, the Phaeo Museum in Wolfsburg, Germany, SEATAC Airport in Seattle, Centro Cultural Candido Mendes in Rio de Janeiro and Santa Monica, Calif., among others. His 2012 sculpture, “Verdi,” located in Bothell, Wash., received a 2012 Year in Review award from the Public Art Network of the Americans for the Arts.

Moeller, a native of Frankfurt, Germany, was a professor at the State College of Design in Karlsruhe, Germany until moving to the United States in 2001. Currently he is a professor in the Department of Design/Media Arts at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) and operates his studio in Silver Lake, Calif.

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