Just outside the entrance of Texas Tech University’s Rawls College of Business you’ll find the latest addition to the university’s public art collection – a multi-element installation created by artists Tara Conley and Joe Barrington called “We Are in the Business of Changing the World.” The sculpture is the largest commission by the Texas Tech University Public Art Program – and it is illuminated at night by Rosco Custom LitePads.
As students enter the building they pass under two bent pipe arches with a bear and a bull on either side. The two symbolic beasts of finance represent the down-trending “bear markets” and the climbing “bull markets,” both of which are bridged by stainless steel tubes depicting the up & down graphical movements of the stock market.
This wonderful video not only explains how the sculpture was conceived and constructed, but it also provides insight into the artists themselves and showcases how their individual stories influenced the original concept of the design.
While Joe Barrington’s primary focus was the bull and bear sculptures, Tara Conley was primarily responsible for the tubes that connected them. According to her, the tubes both directly represent today’s market while they also abstractly represent the people acting as the engine of business. “The bear set of pipes includes two rows that go up, out and down, while the bull set of pipes includes three rows that appear stronger and continue up and up,” Conley said. “Not only does this portray the volatile nature of the market, but also the energy and the breath that goes into every business.”
The materials chosen for the sculpture were of key importance in conveying the ideas behind the symbols. Conley sculpted 200 separate stainless steel pieces into the engaging tubes that symbolize the activity of the stock market. Thanks to the team at Techland Houston, Tara discovered Rosco LitePad and, with their assistance, installed forty 3.9” round Custom LitePad HO90 fixtures to cap each tube.
The LitePads created and elegant glow that emanates from the tubes. This glow not only helps convey the artists’ intended ideas and values; it also provides graceful illumination to the installation and its surroundings at night. As Tara comments, “The glow of the uplighting creates a spectacular view from the second floor and a beacon-like effect from a distance.”
Rosco Custom LitePad is a durable, slim-profile LED fixture that can be fabricated into virtually any size or shape, which makes it ideal for public art installations. At only 8 mm thick, Custom LitePad is available in three different models: the fixed color temperature HO90, the variable color temperature CCT, and the color changing RGB. Each model provides even, indirect lighting that is easily integrated into all forms of sculpture and urban applications.
Be sure to visit taraconleyart.com and redstarstudio.com to learn more about these two artists and to see more of their work. Visit the Rosco Custom LitePad webpage to learn more about the LED solution Tara and Joe incorporated into “We Are in the Business of Changing the World,” and explore how you might integrate Custom LitePad into your next sculpture or art installation.
Pictures and video: courtesy of Tara Conley