Gallery > Public Buildings and Churches
R.B. Long Federal Courthouse
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Image #2

8' bas-relief wood & glass sculpture
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Image #1

"Sentinels" (leaded-glass:17' x 12'6")
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Arthur Stern Studios won a National GSA Percent for the Arts competition to create three related installations for this building, two large leaded glass windows, and a lobby sculpture. The Federal Government had an exact budget available for the artwork, which was to include design, fabrication, and installation.

The windows measure 17' x 13' and 17' x 12'6". They are built entirely of handblown glass with large prisms, hand beveled from 1/2" thick plate glass. The windows are traditional leaded glass with steel reinforcing bars and fit into an aluminum frame. There is a sealed unit to the exterior with the art glass installed inside. The windows are located on the third and second floor respectively and are installed at the ends of the main corridor on each floor. The windows are visible from a variety of distances and viewing positions. I wanted the designs to be graphic from a distance as well as having a more intimate level of design. I also wanted to create windows within the window, or irregular openings that would allow a vista through to the city beyond, while most of the window would be opaque. The three column shapes in each window appear similar from a distance, but have their own identity when viewed up close. At eye level I concentrated complex detailed areas that are unique to each column.

Baton Rouge has a historic Art Deco courthouse adjacent to the new courthouse. The geometric designs reflect the spirit of the historic courthouse as well as relating to the columns and architectural details of the building. I titled the windows "Sentinels" or guardians of the court.

"Tall Sentinels" (leaded-glass:17' x 13')
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The lobby sculpture is an 8' tall bas-relief of cherry wood and leaded glass. This bas-relief is only lit with reflected ambient light. The leaded glass incorporates gold and bronze handblown mirrors as part of the palette of materials. The gilded glass reflects light from the main entrance. The glass entrance to the building has two large columns flanking the doors. For the sculpture, I drew inspiration from the architectural details and tried to respond to the lighting conditions. The title of the sculpture is "Torchere". The wainscot and doors in the lobby are cherry wood and helps make the sculpture site-specific.

All three related installations share the same design vocabulary and are inspired by the architecture.

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