Public Art Studio


Artist Team of David Dahlquist and Matt Niebuhr

David Dahlquist (American, b. 1958) is an artist, teacher, mentor, leader, and Principal with RDG Planning and Design. David is a nationally-recognized public artist and teacher. His commissions for private, public, and institutional clients range from tilework and sculpture to major architectural installations.

My earliest experiences in art were shaped by nature. It's the reason I loved clay the first time I touched it. I've never lost that original fascination. My work as a public artist began with clay. Clay is about storytelling. It is about making connections between art and nature, words and objects, history, and memory.

Matt Niebuhr (American, b. 1969) is an artist, designer, maker, leader, and Senior Partner with RDG Planning and Design. Trained as an architect, Matt is a creative co-contributor with David. Together we integrate artful experiences into public and private spaces within architecture and the landscape creating memorable destinations and exciting new places.

For Matt, drawing is thinking.

Drawing is a fundamental way to explore, to richly comprehend an object or experience. Drawings are records: of the mind (thinking), of the hand (doing), and of the eye (sensing). It's about process - a feedback loop building sensitivity and understanding in order to formulate a translation - of observations, interpretations and experience, all the importance ingredients of a public art practice.

Dahlquist and Niebuhr's work has been recognized for a dynamic synthesis of art and architecture, a connection between narrative and function built on the relationship of story, structure, and site.

Their work depends upon many different elements, orchestrated in a way in which the public is welcomed into and moved by the experience.

STORY / STRUCTURE / SITE

Featured recent work: "Weight of your Heart / Weight of a Feather" - Public art installation, Leawood Public Justice Center, Leawood, Kansas

"Weight of your Heart / Weight of a Feather"
Leawood Public Justice Center, Leawood, Kansas

STORY

The story of the feather of the Goddess of Maat, a measure of good and just and passage to the afterlife is the inspiration for the balance scales held high by Lady Justice today.

This installation interprets this history of symbols and adds the mystical association of plants: sweet chestnut - "do me justice!" thus also suggesting a connection to truth and justice as may be found in nature...

STRUCTURE

Laser model study for Leawood Justice Center, Public Art installation
Weathering Steel - "Weight of your Heart / Weight of a Feather" - Leawood Public Justice Center, Leawood, Kansas
Laser cut model study - "Weight of your Heart / Weight of a Feather" - Leawood, KS
Weathering steel details - "Weight of your Heart / Weight of a Feather" - Leawood, KS

"Weight of your Heart / Weight of a Feather" - Leawood Public Justice Center, Leawood, Kansas

SITE

A connection to trails and the context of architectural forms and color...
"Weight of your Heart / Weight of a Feather" - Leawood, KS

"Weight of your Heart / Weight of a Feather" - Leawood Public Justice Center, Leawood, Kansas