Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kansas City, 10th and Main

Here because I’m here,
Spring afternoon in the shade
Of downtown commerce broke
Spare another one of those, Man?
Which bus? That one gets you
That one? East.
Southwest corner 10th and Main
Yellow jacketed streetside greeter
Smiles, nods, shakes her head
Don’t sit on the fountain
Yeah, the one with no water
Drifting? Nah, stayin’ a while
Across the street, the library
Haven with books and water
What else do you need?

"Bus Riders", photo by "hanneoria"

 "Uplifted Arms"

Davin Watne and Dylan Mortimer created the public artwork specifically for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Transit Plaza at the corner of 10th and Main Streets in Downtown Kansas City.

Inspired by the site's function as a transit hub, Watne and Mortimer collaborated with local bus riders and bus operators on the project.  On a Metro bus parked on site, they conducted a photo-shoot during which they took pictures of more than 100 bus riders who were asked to pose holding onto the bus's overhead "strap."  Taken out of context of the bus, the rider's gestures may suggest contemplation, determination, faith, empowerment, even triumph.  While the figures have been somewhat stylized, viewers may recognize themselves, a co-worker, neighbor, friend or fellow bus rider among them. The artists then created figure drawings based on a selection of those photographs, finally transforming the drawings into sandblasted aluminum cutout sculptures.  The 16 figures have been mounted in pairs onto double-paned tinted tempered glass panels, yielding eight sculptural "units".  The glass panels, which range in color from pale green to deep blue, are set within bead-blasted stainless steel frames that will be anchored to the ground.  They will be installed in a loose path from the northwest to the southeast corner of the plaza, the sculptures will create a sense of movement and progression through the site, augmented by colorful, shifting reflections of the tinted glass onto the plaza's concrete ground.

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