Fire Station #5 - 11th Ave & Hendricks

About the Project



This project involves replacing the existing fire station at this site with a new fire station, a single story 9,000 square foot building using the latest design standards for fire stations.

About the Public Art



The percent for public art budget of $13,000 was awarded to sculptor Alan Tollakson of Emporia, Kansas. Tollakson will create a limestone bas relief sculpture entitled "Facing Fire" that depicts a brave firefighter battling a large blaze with the coiled fire hose connected to a hydrant. The artist's theme for the design is intended to include symbols of the basic qualities associated with the fire fighting tradition. One quality is Courage. Another basic element is Water, the life-giving substance that also saves lives. The Work will include a large panel of the firefighter to be installed on the face of the building at the front door entrance and two smaller medallion panels showing the coiled hose and hydrant to be installed near the garage doors. "Facing Fire" will take several months to carve, and may be installed in early 2017.   
Fire Station Carvings
"Facing Fire" by Alan Tollakson
Alan Tollakson

About Alan Tollakson



Alan Tollakson's work as a sculptor appears in public venues throughout Kansas and the United States, Europe and China. Stone materials are the focus of his private and public art practice. Public installations have been site-specific and span a wide range of contexts from brick and stone institutions to outdoor sculptures meant to interact with nature. 

Tollakson's architectural stone carvings carry regional notions to greater detail, such as the stylized Kansas flora and fauna wall panels carved for Kansas State University. He has also worked with $250 million dollar building projects such as the new Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In such projects, the artist applies his skill sets to the practical worlds of large scale construction, exterior design, and the languages of the artisan and architect. Tollakson's goal is to find creatively inspiring ways to bring the demanding material of stone to life, and hopefully bridge the gap between architectural spaces and the public at large.

In addition to sculpting, Tollakson is a Stone Workshop Instructor for the Freshman Foundation Program under the Kansas City Art Institute, providing intensive lectures, field trips, practice and critical review. He is also a full-time studio lecturer in drawing, sculpture, 2D & 3D design, and performance art. Tollakson has also lectured on the re-emergence of blending art and architecture at Yale University, and has been an Artist in Residence in Hays and Emporia, Kansas. 

Tollakson has been honored with several awards including the Allied Arts & Craftsmanship Honor Award and the Merit Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects of Kansas City and the Central States Region. Tollakson holds a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Science in Comprehensive Art from the University of Wisconsin. He currently resides in Emporia, Kansas.