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UPDATE: Interactive Sculpture in Downtown Rochester Unveiled

December 13, 2017 02:13 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- UPDATE: A new $200,000 interactive sculpture in downtown Rochester has been unveiled.

The sculpture, located at the Mayo Civic Center, was installed over the weekend and on Wednesday the sculpture was fully unveiled.

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Mayo Civic Center representatives said in a press release, that the tapered arch-shaped sculpture was commissioned by the City of Rochester.

The 30-foot long, 15-foot high stainless steel sculpture is an interactive display and hasn’t officially been named by the artist yet. The main sculpture will be located on the center’s southern plaza while a kiosk inside the center (to be activated in the spring) that overlooks the sculpture invites individuals to type on a keyboard. The sentiments typed into the inside keyboard will then emit sound and light on the sculpture outside.

The sculpture has been in the works since July of 2016 when a Public Art Task Force selected Po Shu Wang—a veteran artist from Berkeley, California -- from a wide pool of candidates. The Task Force included representatives from the community, city staff, Rochester Art Center staff, and the architect of the Mayo Civic Center expansion project. The Task Force’s recommendation of Wang was approved by the Mayo Civic Center’s Executive Committee and the Rochester City Council.

Wang said he designed his tapered arch to complement the architecture of the renovated Mayo Civic Center and to attract and welcome people to the Riverfront Plaza overlooking the Zumbro River. “I was looking at how the
building and plaza were designed. I was inspired to make an arch that is tapered from one end to the other and that guides people into the plaza. It’s like an entry or an abstract invitation to enter the space,” Wang says.

Technical details of the Sculpture

  • Dimensions: 30 feet in length, 7 feet 6 inches in width, 15 feet 4 inches in height
  • Weight: 5,520 pounds
  • The sculpture is made of structural stainless steel. It was fabricated at a factory in Oakland, California by Wang and welders under Wang’s supervision.
  • An outdoor LED light, small microprocessor, and speaker will be located near the outdoor sculpture and activated in spring, 2018.
  • The software that translates what’s typed into the keyboard (located in the inside kiosk) into music and light was completed by a programmer from Denmark.
  • The sculpture was cut in two in order to be transported from California on a flatbed truck. The sculpture will be welded back together onsite on Saturday.
  • The total cost of the sculpture was $200,000. It was part of the Mayo Civic Center expansion project and was paid for by the City of Rochester.

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