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Ann Gardner: "Lumen"

On 25, Oct 2010 | 2 Comments | In Uncategorized | By man-admin

Lumen, 2010  Glass, composite, concrete, steel
4’h x 16’w x 16’d

MAN 2010 cover artist Ann Gardner (see above right hand column) recently installed her latest sculpture, “Lumen”, in the San Antonio International Airport.  The mosaic-surfaced work was commissioned by the City of San Antonio.

Below is a description of the work provided to us by Ms. Gardner’s assistant and photographer, Lisa Jacoby. 

Lumen: A measure of the power of light as perceived by the human eye

Visitors ascending the escalators at the east end of the airport’s new Terminal B will encounter a shimmering glass sculpture suspended overhead entitled “Lumen” by Seattle-based artist Ann Gardner. The sculpture is a large, sun-like circular coil that is 16 feet in diameter and comprised of a series of spiraling loops. The surface is made from thousands of small, hand-cut pieces of glass, each one backed with metal leaf to reflect the light. The glass is laid on the composite/fiberglass coil and then grouted. Gardner designed this piece to take advantage of the light emanating from the terminal skylights while using simple imagery, the sun, to honor San Antonio’s wonderful climate.

One of the things that makes Gardner unique among sculptors using mosaic is that she often makes her own tesserae, carefully selecting color, reflectivity and texture for maximum effect for each individual design.  The results are always dynamic.

By her own admission, making tesserae is a tedious and time consuming task for Gardner.   But the ability to design and create her own materials pays off hugely for an artist who has told MAN:

Cut into small squares with each piece placed at a slightly different angle, my glass mosaic catches light in a unique way, adding texture and complexity to a surface — it creates a shimmering skin.

Click on any image for a larger view.

As for inspiration, here is what Ms. Gardner told us in her MAN 2010 article:

Whether I create a sculpture for a private or a public commission, I am intersted in the same issues:  I want my work to elicit an emotional response such as celebration, quietness, or calm and to facilitate a connection to that response for the viewer.

Our response:  This metaphor for the sun warms up an otherwise linear and spare environment exquisitely.

To learn more about Ms. Gardner, visit her website:
To see a March 2010 MAN blog entry about Ms. Gardner’s work “Convergence”, click here
Our thanks to Lisa Jacoby for the update and photographs.

Enjoy — Nancie

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  1. Mindful Musings

    What an amazing installation! I like how it appears balanced but there's an irregularity about it too.

  2. Maureen

    Great artwork! Thank you for providing the close-up views.