The theme of this sculpture is uncomplicated and heartfelt. It is a physical representation of a universally familiar memory of childhood: the innocent pleasure of climbing a tree in solitude. The design of the sculpture relies on the organic geometries of the Fibonnacci sequence and Golden Ratio.
Designed and built specifically for the Rotunda in the Museum of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Natural Progression is meant to complement the architecture. The iconoclastic architect Frank Furness designed elaborate decorations throughout the building, including a grand stairway. The architecture was meant to elevate a viewer from their place in everyday life to a higher place of Art.
Natural Progression was intended as a continuation of the staircase up through the ceiling of the museum. Along the way it transforms into a decorative flower and is completely aestheticised and looses its function as a staircase.
Natural Progression was a departure from the traditional sculptural media of stone, plaster, clay and bronze. The combining of copper and fabric allowed for a lightweight, suspended sculpture that is translucent, nostalgic, and somewhat dreamy.
It was featured at the 2005 Philadelphia Flower Show before being acquired for permanent display at Radnor Court.
cast resin, LED's
55 giant bacteria float across the ceiling and through the windows of The School of Medicine. Visible from both the interior and exterior of the building, these bacteria are truly inspired.
The artwork floating in the atrium is based on the Earth's oldest and most plentiful life form: bacteria. Inspired by the beauty and complexity of the microscopic universe, the piece enables us to see what is normally visible only to microbiologists and other specialists through magnification. The Unseen World is an interpretive representation of the ecosystems all around us and inside us -- imperceptible to the unaided human eye.
The sculptures are based on electron-microscope studies of the anatomy of bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Salmonella, just to name a few. Cast in an ecologically-friendly opaline resin with a blend of crushed mica, these fantastic forms are intended to awaken a sense of wonder and curiosity in people of all ages. Under a microscope is an unseen world beckoning us to leave behind what we think we know, and to explore.
cast bronze, copper,
Temple Beth Elohim Wellesley, Mass
Created for the sunlit lobby of newly built Temple Beth Elohim, this sculpture welcomes visitors with a vision of blossoms in spring. Building design by William Rawn and Associates.
A burst of ethereal blossoms cascades from the sky light into the atrium, greeting visitors as they enter the new Jewish Temple, and welcoming them into the sanctuary. Temple Beth Elohim's atrium is the first interior space as one enters into the synagogue. It is the nexus from which all the integral tenets of the sacred community radiate and return.
Welcoming and Warmth
The sculpture encapsulates the principle of huddur mitzvah, which means sacred beautification as an expression of hope in the future. Blossoms are exuberant, beautiful examples of the poetry of life. Jubilee evokes themes of gratitude for the sun and rain and other cosmic blessings in Nature. Delicate though they may be, flowers are also essential to the life cycle of even the most rugged tree as it produces its tender, seed-bearing fruit.
A tangible expression of the vital discourse between physical place and the innermost, spiritual interior of the congregation. It bridges this dynamic tension but also is a focal point, drawing visitors into the space, and communicating the message of a community rich with opportunity for engagement.
Connections to Isreal and Nature
Jubilee is based on the almond blossom, which holds great meaning in Judaism. There are two Hebrew words for almond, the first translated to "hastened awakening." This aptly describes the almond tree, whose delicate but profuse flowers appeared in ancient Palestine in January. Arriving so early in the season, the blossoms symbolize the process of creation. The second word for almond is found in Genesis, referring to the place where Jacob had his dream. Thus, the almond blossom is a reminder of beginnings, history, and founding families.
Execution and Intimacy
Wrought from cast bronze, copper, and hand-dyed natural fibers and dramatically suspended from the atrium's upper story, Jubilee, is a symbol of hope, a suspended flower that aims to elicit the best from all of us, by encouraging us to pay attention, to start anew, to create, to care for others, and to engage.
colored stainless steel
Millbourne Train Station, Millbourne, PA
The City of Philadelphia is home to the oldest elevated train line in America. The station at 66th and Market in the borough of Millbourne is home to a diverse population predominantly from the subcontinent of India and surrounding southeast Asian countries. Several of these cultures have myths about peacocks. In one of these myths, peacocks surround the gates of Paradise.
The irridescence of the colorshifting stainless steel, is similar to the dichroism of a peacock feather. Although quite complex, and used extensively in aerospace industries, this is a surprisingly eco-friendly process involving high voltage and thin layer of vacuum-deposited titanium.
The sculpture is nostalgic - so steampunk vocabulary is a good fit. The over-engineered exposed hardware is a nod to the industrial era of trains. It is the oldest elevated train line in America, so Erland + Kaman wanted to reference that in a contemporary way.
The motif is very close to symmetrical, like a heraldic element. There is a neo-Victorian feel. The feathers are abstracted into a floral form reminiscent of an ivy-clad brick building.
The people of the Millbourne community refered to them as peacock flowers.
Conch Republic is a series of CAD-CAM sculptures cast in photocatalytic cement for Sculpture Key West -- an annual exhibition of contemporary outdoor sculpture that has been held at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West, Florida since 1995.
copper, steel, bronze mesh & gold leaf
Kaiser Permanente, Kensington MD
Suspended in the atrium of Kaiser Permanente's 24hr. hospital this sculpture slowly moves by air currents every time a visitor comes through the front door. It is an abstracted seed pod, reminding us of the calm and beautiful small worlds in nature.
A burst of brilliant metallic colors in the atrium of Bowie City Hall invites the public to experience a work of art that draws inspiration from nature's timeless beauty. This imaginative mobile - loosely taking the form of Black-Eyed Susan blossoms - is sculpted in gun blue steel and red metals: bronze, brass and copper.
Commissioned by the City of Philadelphia for a new recreation center in Mount Airy, these twin spiral sculptures and their complementary murals are located at both entranceways of Dorothy Emmanuel Recreation Center.
They are mobiles that freely rotate, as breezes enter into the building.
Moved by air currents, they reflect the freedom and activity of youth and the site.
The intended audience is children, and it was designed with them in mind. Free-spirited and footloose. Bubbly, with an African art influence.
Lighthearted. Like a cartoon - with bold black outlines - the flower theme animates the space. Perfect for fun afterschool activities.
The two spiral sculptures are not identical, but they are related. Like siblings. They fill the voids in the two beautiful light boxes with an easy informality.
fiberglass, steel, high tension cable
Strung like a harp, suspended high in the air on high-tension cables, Growth Rings is a feat of art and engineering. Developer Mark Sherman commissioned the artwork as a part of the Sherman Mills, a community of artists in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Its installation created a symbolic landmark through art. Before Growth Rings, there was little evidence of an artistic community outside the individual artist studios. By bringing together the collection of old factory buildings, the piece became a transformative landmark for the community.
The sculpture feels like a series of viewfinders into the sky. Like a spectacular sunset on the horizon, Growth Rings resists being captured in a single photo. Because the sky behind it is such an active element in the composition, Kaman and Erland think that stop motion animation is the key to understanding the piece.
The paradox of the hovering mass elicits a visceral response, but through stop-motion animation, the viewer can see that the focus is always on the sky itself. It is a creative skyline, continuously changing, that expresses the value of art to the community.
For the Westin Hotel in Jersey City, Kaman and Erland designed a harmonious floral sculpture entitled Renewal.
The Greek letter "ξ" served as the point of departure for the composition, for it is the first letter of the Greek word: ξενία (xenía), which translates as hospitality, generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home. It can be translated as "guest-friendship."
public art, philadelphia, sculpture, suspended sculpture
30' x 12' x 12'
aluminum and brass mesh
“Samara”is a kinetic sculpture installed at the Henrietta Lacks Bioscience High School in Vancouver Wa. It represents the winged maple seed, known as a Samara, taking its spiraling journey through the air. Bigleaf Maple is second to Red Alder among native hardwood species in abundance and in commercial importance in the Pacific Northwest. The sculptural composition consists of 16 maple seeds in a spiral formation, each approximately 6’ in length. Each individual wing shape was cut out of sheet aluminum, and all the drops were melted down and cast to create the seed pods. These components were welded together with a brass mesh integrated between the two layers. A motor mounted above keeps the entire composition continually moving. The maple seed represents the start of a new life. Each of these little flying whirligigs has the potential to grow into a giant tree. Similar to those in high school who are just beginning their life’s journey. The sculpture sparks the imagination- its motion, the journey it takes, twirling towards soil- is captivating. Where will it land?
public art, philadelphia, sculpture, suspended sculpture
Beneficent series is comprised of 24 site-specific small works based on healing plants for Kaiser Permanente South Baltimore Medical Center.
These upbeat artworks feature a wide range of techniques, including Old English metal smithing, 3D printed metals, laser cutting, and delicate use of metal fabrics. Floral compositions based on St. John's Wort, Chamomile, Ginger, Garlic, Wintergreen, and Sage. Materials include copper, bronze, resin, steel, concrete, and 24k gold leaf.
copper, brass mesh
12' x 6' x 6'
This kinetic, suspended sculpture is hand hammered, all-metal construction. The piece takes inspiration from both the site and the cultural history of The Wistar Institute—a research center using science to save lives. The title--Caspar-- celebrates the life of Caspar Wistar, a prominent Philadelphia physician and his grandfather, the industrialist of the same name. The shapes in the artwork are based on protein ribbons--a rich field of study in today’s scientific research--as well as the wisteria plant which has historical ties to the Wistar family.
This sculpture was made possible by a generous gift from Adele & Harold Schaeffer, Robert & Penny Fox, and the Center for Emerging Visual Artists.
12' x 3' x 6'
The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA
In keeping with the culture of innovation of The Smilow Center for Translational Research at the University of Pennsylvania Kaman + Erland created a cluster of neuron sculptures suspended over the escalator. This artwork is dubbed "Advance"- a reference to the functional role of neurons in slowly shaping human civilization and consciousness through the formation of each individual human brain. The beauty of natural and complex neural networks- the electrochemical mechanisms of memory, forethought and inspiration- is celebrated with fluid lines and subtle, pearlescent color.