Kinetic sculpture suspended from the ceiling on swivels,
spinning slowly with moving air currents in the lobby.

The Wallace H. Kuralt Centre; Mecklenburg Department of Social Services (Charlotte, NC) 1998

The artwork created for the lobby of the Kuralt Centre ties together the a theme reflected in the floor covering (The Sun. The Moon. The Stars.) and the natural world as seen through the dramatic two-story glass entry way. Two distinct, yet related, works play off the main theme to create an inspirational vision of hope in today's world.

Four plexiglass panels, 20" x 60" each, suspended from the ceiling

Four elements of nature, each depicted on a suspended Plexiglas panel, interact with a fifth, invisible element – the Wind – to present a dramatic display of moving images and light. These kinetic panels, representing rain, sunshine, lightening and snow, are hung from the ceiling on swivels allowing them to spin slowly in reaction to moving air currents within the lobby. As the panels rotate, their highly polished edges reflect light creating a dazzling effect playing on the surfaces of the room.

Contrasting color palettes add to the effectiveness of the visual display. Rain and snow are illustrated in cool greens and blues, while lightening and sunshine use contrasting warm orange and red tones.

Three canvas panels, total size: 45" x 109" x 2.5"

This three-panel wall display represents hope as symbolized by the rainbow, the central element of the work. Contrasting skies, juxtaposed on the rainbow panel, offer an “openness” that gives way to dreams of the future as represented by birds in flight and a spaceship lifting off into the night sky.

On either side of the rainbow panel are panels which capture the essence of living with hope… happy people engaged in activities to improve their lives in the future. Scenes involving people of all ages depict such activities as getting an education, exercising for fitness and good health, playing with children and helping older adults.

These images on the side panels – a teacher and her charges, the quilter (with a three dimensional thread as part of the image), a person mowing the yard, the student graduating from college – all involve activities that move our lives forward in positive ways.

My intent in designing this unique lobby art was to incorporate elements of nature into this wonderful space to inspire visitors to appreciate the world around them and the potential it holds for their lives.


©2024 Trena McNabb