Vessel celebrates community through forms and colors that are rooted in history and place.
The sculpture “Vessel” celebrates community through forms and colors that are rooted in history and place. A new commission by The Arts Commission’s “Art in Public Places Program” partnering with Mercy Health, “Vessel” serves as a site-specific public artwork and an iconic anchoring element located in the Cherry Street Corridor Roundabout in Toledo, Ohio.
Anchoring the Cherry Street Corridor, forms and colors are rooted in history and place.
Site-specific research, artistic fact-finding, stakeholder interviews, community interactions and site visits were critical to the conceptual development of "Vessel." Community open house meetings and dialogue about the conceptual idea created an opportunity to engage with residents and share insights about elements of the history of Toledo and the texture of the surrounding neighborhood. These engagements inspired the patterning on the steel forms, which reflect the many homes and pubic spaces dear to the community.
At once open yet solid, the symbolic icon speaks of balance between containment and release, nature and structure. Forms and colors are rooted in history and place: the base of the gray slate relates to the "black swamp" that was drained by Toledo settlers; A matte silver finish in stainless steel honors the Grey Nuns who selflessly cared for early Toledo residents, and a bold yellow interior is inspired by the Marguerite daisy. Toledo’s glassmaking heritage is evoked by silhouettes suggesting vessels while other ever-changing shapes suggest petal forms.
The patterns on the form are derived from the surrounding neighborhood building footprints and celebrate the community through a colorful ever-changing figure/ground play of light and shadow. An anchoring element to the corridor, the cheerful color and subtly changing reflection on the surfaces of hand-finished, laser-cut stainless steel create a welcoming beacon for visitors and residents alike along as busy daily commute path.
Whether day or night, luminous vibrant yellow color glows from within and light, shadow, and color engage in perpetual dialogue.
This monumental form, Vessel, anchors its Toledo roundabout as a focal point for the Cherry Street corridor. Transforming as you circle it, the structure’s planes merge with voids, and angles converge with contours.
Because the installation is located in the center of a roundabout, lighting designers focused on reducing glare from lighting sources. In addition, the design utilizes fixtures that are highly accessible, which maximizes maintenance accessibility and minimizes the need to block the road for servicing the lighting systems.