Art at the Philadelphia Regional Office
The sculpture for the federal building located at 5000 Wissahickon Avenue is situated at the beginning of a tree-lined walk leading to the building from the parking lot.
Located there, the sculpture is the first thing people see as they enter the facility. It defines the building, acting as a sign without words.
Created of light gray concrete with aggregates that give it the look of granite, the sculpture is deeply carved relief and contains optical fiber embedments. It is mounted on a stainless steel base fastened to a stepped concrete platform.
The sculputure has a distinctly American theme. It uses the traditional symbols of freedom that grace many of our government buildings. The Stars & Stripes and the American Eagle have been combined in a unique way to make a strong and positive statement.
The forms have been redrawn into a coposition that adds excitement and movement to these symbols of freedom. The thirteen stripes of the flag become waving banners suggesting wind and movement as they wrap the eagle in flight. They flow thorugh thirteen stars composed on the right side of the sculpture in an overlapping, geometric assemblage.
At night, the sculpture adds deeper meaning to its patriotic symbolism. The surface lights with series of programmed effects culminating in a reconstruction of the sky over Philadelphia on the night of July 4, 1776. Giving viewers a direct visual link to that historic day in our country's history, the sky will be crossed with comet-like lines that are celestial meridian, the zenith and the ecliptic plain. Other events playing out over a period of time will resemble the fire works displays used on the Fourth of July celebrations. Arcing lines and bursting forms, changing colors and rhythym, will cover the surface with moving light. The displays come and go in a continuous program that will take days to repeat exactly.
The dimensions of the sculpture are approximately 4-feet, 2-inches high ona 2-foot high base, giving it an overall height of 6-feet, 2-inches. The overall width is 6-feet, 7-inches, with an approximate depth of 18-inches at the base.
Titled Sentinel, the scupture imbues this building with a sense of history and renewed tradition.
It is a declaration of patriotism that welcomes visitors with a single image of strenght and vitality.
The artist, Clyde Lynds, has work commissioned in many private, state, and federal buildings. A few of the buildings are:
Located on the wall in the second floor lobby is the artwork titled "Colors of Medals." Viewers are able to see the work from outside the main entrance, as well as from the third floor bridge. Overall, the work is 8-feet wide, 16-feet tall, and 4-inches deep.
The work is comprised of eight panels, each two feet wide, hung vertically in a shutter fashion. The piece is open to reveal the true intent of the work and to show color and intention of the medals. The work incorporates the use of computer prints of ribbons and medals. There are two surfaces: 1) The front or top, which moves out, turning to the left, and 2) the bottom, which has painted references. There are a lot of colors and the sense of the surfaces are symobolized through color. Actual materials consist of birch plywood, computer scanned images, aluminum, polypropylene, acrylic paint and some fibers.
The angle is set and the pieces are not moveable. All of the pieces are mounted and each piece is braces separately as well as supported from the top, so that the weight will be evenly distributed. The work has dimensionality and offers the viewer the feeling of looking behind it and through it, largely due to its openess and the constructed layers.
The artist is Sam Gilliam from Washington, District of Columbia. In an interview with Style Live, Sam says he wants "to alter the person to examine more than just the subject... to pay attention to the function rather than the layers of content." He hopes the observer will recognize the motif of military medals but also follow where clipped ovals and layered swashes of paints take the eye and mind and ask why they do so.
Mr. Gilliam has commissioned artwork through the world. Some of his work can be seen at: