One year ago the Pittsburgh Glass Center gave glass artists across the country the opportunity to make Pittsburgh more beautiful by creating a glass art installation in the lobby of a downtown building for $75,000. The building is owned by Rexxhall Realty, and is referred to as the 11 Stanwix building.
Out of thirty applications, Jill Reynolds and Dan Spitzer, a couple from Beacon New York were selected.
Spitzer says this was their first collaboration on a big piece. After getting passed the application process, each competitor had to make a digital image of their idea for the lobby and present it to a panel of jurors. Spitzer says now that the project is finished, the comparison between the real thing and the rendered design is almost exactly the same. He says this is very satisfying to both of them.
Reynolds says they came across the opportunity while driving home from a road trip to visit family. They decided to make a stop in Pittsburgh to check out the lobby. Reynolds says her first reaction was, “We can do this.” She says it’s a great feeling to see the project’s beauty and to know that they created it.
Assistant Director of the center, Heather McElwee says this project really adds to the landscape of the city and is set to enhance peoples lives and the environment.
The glass art installation features more than 1300 individual blown glass vessels suspended on steel cables at various heights that look like drops of water. Together, they make the shape of a wave washing through the lobby.
Each element represents the three rivers in three ways.
The installation covers about 1,500 square feet and is oriented in the direction of and parallel to the actual riverfront.
The water droplets are in eight shades and intensities of blue.
The wave shape represents a sound wave from the song “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” by jazz legend Duke Ellington.
The glass art installation was unveiled Monday afternoon and can be viewed by the public Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, or anytime from outside.