Materials: Powder-coated steel, programmable LED, fiber optics, acrylic, rustic terrazzo
Dimensions: Marquee - 34’ x 24’ x 8’
Plaza - 34’ x 20’
Client: Cary, North Carolina
Fabricators: Matt McConnell, David Allen Company, Colorlume
Architect: Leora Mirvish, Quinn Evans Architects
As the lead artist on the design team for the adaptive reuse of this post-WWII main-street theater, I was given the opportunity to choose any aspect of the site to address with artwork. I chose the marquee because it would have the most impact for their $187,000 budget, as well as for the challenge of reinterpreting the marquee form to meet the client’s directive that it should “honor the past while looking toward the future.” The goal of the theater renovation is to jump-start redevelopment in Cary’s historic downtown. In our design, I took into account that Cary is in the middle of North Carolina’s famed high-tech Research Triangle. The result was a hybrid of traditional marquee forms (including hand-placed letters) combined with state-of-the-art programmable lighting.
I asked to be partnered with a local artist as part of the city’s mentorship program. Originally he was only going to be involved with the design, but I lobbied strongly for him to get the fabrication contract, which he subsequently won. We found a local lighting company and terrazzo firm to work with thereby keeping most of the funds in the local tax base that generated them.
Photos by Sterling E. Stevens