Over forty applicants from an international pool of artists competed for the new public art commission to be installed at ArtHouse on 5th Avenue in Gary, Indiana. Artists submitted their concepts for ILLUMINATION, brightening up the corner on which the building sits, and SURFACE, beautifying the exterior façade of the building itself.
The artists were urged to honor Gary’s manufacturing heritage while also provoking dialogue and instigate active cultural life in downtown Gary. With all of these requests considered, it is no surprise that the design by the team of Jeana Ripple and Barbara Brown Wilson was chosen.
Although both artists practice in the Charlottesville, Virginia area, their styles, materials and design sensibilities are distinctively reminiscent of life in the Midwest, particularly in Northwest Indiana. They come from backgrounds of award-winning architecture and community engaged design which are perfectly demonstrated for their concept for the Gary building.
Ripple is the founder of the Ripple Architecture Studio where she uses manufacturing processes as inspiration for her designs. Wilson is an urban planner, leader in the practice of community engaged design and has experience partnering with nonprofits on design projects. Both also serve as educators at the University of Virginia.
In partnership, these artists have developed a concept that utilizes both of their experiences and specialties to reimagine a building into something that will benefit the community whilst showcasing a design that honors the manufacturing history of the city of Gary. To learn more about Ripple + Wilson or their design, visit www.arthousegary.com.