700-foot long aerial sculpture planned for Vancouver

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A massive 700-foot long aerial sculpture is planned to span Vancouver’s Central Harbour for the 30th annual TED Conference held at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

World-renowned Boston artist Janet Echelman, one of this year’s TED speakers, is bringing her most ambitious and largest art project to Vancouver. The aerial sculpture will be stretched and suspended from the roof of the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel and the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Site of the Vancouver sculpture

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Image: Janet Echelman

Early conceptual rendering of the Vancouver sculpture

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Image: Janet Echelman

“I create soft, billowing sculptures that act as a counterpoint to hard edge cities and buildings, and in doing so my aim is to create oases of art in urban centres around the world,” said Echelman when describing her work.

To date, Echelman has created successful and engaging sculptures in cities as diverse as Porto (Portugal), Phoenix (Arizona), Sydney (Australia), Denver (Colorado), Amsterdam (Netherlands), San Francisco (California), Madrid (Spain), and Seattle (Washington); and the list goes on. She has been written up and recognized by the likes of the New York Times, Architectural Digest, and Oprah, who placed Janet’s work as the #1 of “50 Things That Will Make You Say WOW!”.

The sculpture she is bringing to downtown Vancouver is similar to the ‘Winter Sky Garden’ aerial sculpture she created for Richmond Olympic Oval, although the most notable difference will be the size difference – the downtown Vancouver piece is approximately ten times larger.

Autodesk is the sponsor of the work, and also provided the custom 3D software that helped Echelman model and test design feasibility, structural integrity, and wind loads on the piece.

The piece features a nighttime light display developed by artist Aaron Koblin.

This exciting and monumental project is co-presented by the newly launched Burrard Arts Foundation (BAF), a non-profit that has a mission to bring public art projects to Vancouver.

A Kickstarter campaign has been launched for the project to help Janet recoup some of the cash she has personally extended to fund the installation of the project.

The official unveiling is tentatively scheduled for March 16, 2014, a day prior to the start of the TED Conference.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Image: Janet Echelman

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Image: Janet Echelman

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Image: Janet Echelman

Sydney, Australia

Art & About 2011
Image: Janet Echelman

Phoenix, Arizona

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Image: Janet Echelman

‘Winter Sky Garden’ at the Richmond Olympic Oval

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Image: Janet Echelman

 

Featuerd Image: Janet Echelman

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