“Convergence,” a 20-foot-tall work of cast aluminum forming a partial male head that peers skyward, adds a sense of intrigue and mystery to the nondescript government building it flanks, just off I-215 in Taylorsville. Installed in October of 2017, Douwe Blumberg’s sculpture is meant to give a visual representation of the various teams at work on mysteries inside the State of Utah Unified State Lab.
It was selected this year by Americans for the Arts as one of the 49 most compelling public art projects created in the country in 2017. The list also features Hypersonic & Plebian Design’s “Life of Tree,” a kinetic sculpture that hangs in a stairwell at the University of Utah’s Crocker Science Center and simulates a tree’s reflection in water, a metaphor for how all scientific theories are only a reflection of the underlying reality. The movements were inspired by Wind flow patterns, water surface movement, seismic activity, and solar cycles inspired the sculpture’s movements.
“The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate, and illuminate,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, when the roster of award-winners was announced. “Most of all, public art creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns, and communities we inhabit and visit.”’
Both installations are part of the Utah Public Art Program, managed by Jim Glenn and the Division of Arts & Museums, which has placed more than 230 works in Utah state facilities. The Public Art Program was created by the Utah State Legislature in 1985 with the passage of the Percent-for-Art-Act, a statute permits 1 percent of construction costs for new or remodeled State facilities to be added to the project for the commissioning or acquisition of art that is site specific to the facility and community.
With our In Plain Site byline we feature publicly viewable art, both official and street art, throughout the state of Utah.