Hygienic Art Park
New London, CT
The Hygienic Art Park was designed and built to expand the impact of the Hygienic Gallery and Artist Live/Work Cooperative in New London's historic central business district. Occupying a previously vacant lot, the park offers a stage for music, performance art, movies, and other community events.
The park is enclosed by an eight-foot tall steel picket fence of sculptural trees with interspaced cast-concrete columns. The column panels were created by Madacsi Studios and designed as insets for a shadow-box effect. The columns and filigree of the sculptural trees in the fence were designed by the architect and I was asked to create the decorative panels to compliment their design. I created non-repeating botanical elements, so that the eye can travel and capture the interest of the viewer. I often find that when there is a repeated pattern the eye and mind can get bored and overlook the detail of what goes into a piece aesthetically. The intention is that the viewer slows down and takes time and interest in seeing the details of the work, as one might when walking through a garden of flowers or a field.
The project was a collaboration between Madacsi Studios, the landscape architect, and the lighting designer. The hot-dipped galvanized steel creates a metallic silver color which reacts beautifully when illuminated by recessed fixtures. The semi-circular gates and column entrance to the park act as a space to encompass people away from the sidewalk and gather as they wait to be admitted to an event. As patrons wait and socialize they have time to take in the detail and beauty of the artwork.