Downtown visitors will soon be able to view a new piece of art along Roosevelt Row, but this piece is far from another mural. It is a huge, blue structure resembling something between a rib cage and ocean waves.
An ASU student-artist team will move the sculpture, Peritoneum, from the Tempe campus to the Ro2 lot on Roosevelt & Second Street on June 18.
Peritoneum is an artistic shade and seating structure created by a team for the X-Square competition. The name Peritoneum is a loose Latin translation that means “core” or “rib-cage,” which can be seen in the structure’s rib-like appearance.
X-Square is an annual competition in which students of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at ASU compete to transform a brick courtyard on the Tempe campus into a gathering place for students.
The competition requires students to design and program a project for a nine-month installation that opens at the beginning of each fall semester. Teams are required to have a minimum of one student from the School of Art and The Design School plus one student from one of the other six schools within the Herberger Institute.
Peritoneum is being moved because a new team’s project will be going in to the space in the fall.
Josh Gallagher, graphic designer for Peritoneum, was in charge of sequencing and implementing the color scheme for the structure.
“We did case study research of other successful public art pieces to try to gain knowledge and inspiration,” Gallagher said. “Ultimately we wanted an immersive space in order to turn the area from a transient location into a campus destination.”
The structure is mostly made out of wood, and the ribs are wooden laser cut sheets coated with 9 different shades of weatherproof blue paint, said Erica MacKenzie, a designer for Peritoneum. Metal brackets, thread and metal tubes are used for spacing, she said.
Gallagher said the students built Peritoneum in just over three weeks during July and August of summer 2011. The students worked 12 hour days or longer, starting before 7 a.m. every day to be productive before it got too hot, he said.
The student-artist team worked together to find a location for the piece of art temporarily while they try to find a more permanent home, said Dorina Bustamante, Ro2 Lot project lead and Principal Partner at Continental Shift.
She said the sculpture is a good addition to The Lot: “What Should Go Here?” project, a community project working to convert vacant lots into temporary spaces that the community can enjoy until the land is developed.
Bustamante brought the attention of Peritoneum to Mike Davis, Ro2 Lot property owner and founding principal at DAVIS architecture firm.
“I’m allowing Peritoneum on the Ro2 Lot because it’s a great piece of art and will really do a lot to generate excitement on Roosevelt,” said Davis. “Nothing says ‘arts district’ like art, especially something this cool.”
Davis said the art, along with grading and landscaping the site, is a much better temporary use than dirt, weeds and chain link fences. This temporary project has come to pass as charitable giving, he said.
“My interests, while focused on long-term profitability, are more oriented toward a ‘bottomless-line’ mentality, one seeking to make the world a better place than it was yesterday,” Davis said.
Gallagher sees the shaded structure contributing to the city in more ways than one.
“It’s important for the structure to move downtown because it not only contributes to the aesthetic of the city, but it also provides necessary shade for Roosevelt Row, which will enhance community engagement within the arts district,” he said.
With a truck and some strong hands, the structure will be moved to its new home later in June, which will cost $16,000 of their $20,000 budget, MacKenzie said.
“Costs for reconstruction are being supported by the downtown civic arts group that is hosting the structure,” said Adriene Jenik, Director of the School of Art.
MacKenzie said she hopes downtown is impacted by Peritoneum as positively as Tempe was.
“This structure in our minds really brought together students,” MacKenzie said. “We hope that it can do the same in Phoenix.”
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