Sports Arena Public Art

About the Percent for Public Art

The Percent for Public Art for the Sports Arena project was established at $230,000. Following an open and juried competition involving a call for artists that attracted 168 entries from artists residing in the United States, the Public Art Design Council and the Sports Arena Building Committee together recommended to the City Council the selection of public artist Koryn Rolstad of Seattle, Washington. The artwork is titled Illuminated Community Spirit.

Illuminated Community Spirit

Photos by Kristen Garlow Piper

About Koryn Rolstad

Koryn Rolstad of Seattle, Washington, has earned an international reputation as a public artist since 1975. She established Koryn Rolstad Studios (KRS) after graduating from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts, with studies in Environmental Design and Architecture. Her holistic approach integrates visual and physical identity while achieving goals for community education and interaction.

Rolstad's works and vision have influenced the Seattle waterfront's identity and development. Her commitment to building the 1996 AIA Honor Awarded Banner Building initiated Belltown's transformation into a very desirable neighborhood. Her concept to provide creative and self-employed individuals the opportunity to own and build out their units was the first of its kind, bringing art and commerce together, rejuvenating a distressed neighborhood. The Banner Building was recognized globally for this innovation, winning several awards.

Throughout Rolstad's career as a public artist, her criteria for successful project collaboration is supported by her community stakeholder background and can best be described in her own words: "the enjoyment and impact of the installations must relate to the people who support, work and interact within their environment." Rolstad's installations include numerous projects over $100,000 throughout the United States and can also be found in Canada, Aruba, The Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Armenia, and Uzbekistan.

Rolstad has been recognized with many awards for her work, and has provided many publications regarding architecture and designing public spaces. She is an Affiliate Assistant Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington and Affiliate Lecturer at Howard University in Washington, DC. Rolstad holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from the School of Environmental Design/Architecture of the University of Washington, and also holds a Certificate in Russian Language, Literature & Culture from the University of Moscow, Russia.

Artist Koryn Rolstad


Artist's Statement

The public art installations I have produced are interactive and site-specific with intent to convey a community voice and iconic appeal. Combining the philosophies of art and design construction, I use strong forms, images, and lighting to emphasize architecture and natural surrounds. My installation in public buildings, plazas, and streetscapes are fun, education, and pertinent to their architectural "home" and "sense of place," re-imagining public spaces to provide opportunities for connectivity, interaction and identity. My criterion remains the same throughout: "that the enjoyment and impact of the installations relate to the people who visit, work and interact within these environments."

The theme of Illuminated Community Spirit is to define this installation concept as a Gateway Visual Story for the arena and the community. I feel that it is important to have an exterior presence, which starts the "visual story" supporting the City of Hutchinson open space and moves into the enclosed yet transparent atrium interior. The project starts out as a "stand" of tree-like forms with the semi-circular LED lit aluminum arch that seem to be animated -- such as the multi-use arena will be. The elements move forward onto the front surface of the architecture of the south entry and continue on into the open space. There are many directions that the lighting can take on, including changing the patterning to 1) back and form movement, 2) slow meandering color changing, and 3) animated. The list goes on.

I took the circular and half arcs layered throughout the ceiling as a visual "embracing" metaphor. The bright colors emulate the various forms of entertainment that enable the "intertwining" of this vital community supporting all cultures and ages. The open area is a wonderful counterpoint to the blear bright colors of the circular layers and the additional translucent colored and dichroic radiant panels allow for the continuous changing shadowing of form and hue throughout the space from day to night -- always unique and an opportunity inviting the public to this truly varied entertainment facility.

I kept the solution simple using all recycled materials such as power coated aluminum (70% recycled) circular structures along with the colored translucent eco-resin PETG or Acrylic (40%) internal panel layers. I wanted the open suspended are to form a seamless connection from the existing landscape to the sky above and yet have an intellectual connection to cultural identity and personal home references. The last element will be include LED spot lighting to allow the shadowing of the layers of the art to refract their forms on the walls and surrounding area. this will give a strong visual daytime experience with the natural ambient lighting while changing at night to a more dynamic visual experience to add a festive environment during darker days and evening events.

You will see, in a fair amount of my work, attempts to give a structural language to the "Natural Culture & Environment" to emulate personal familiar experiences as a counterpoint to the highly technical structure of our world. This theme is designed to identify the school community with a joyful set of colors and give a fun and elegant environment to this area, which is easily identifiable and interactive for the students.

The project elements of repetition provide their own simplicity and complexity at the same time, and I have found that this repetition has provided various dynamic view that have provided a strong and personal visual language for the facility. The design supports the community with a public art installation that emulates the natural environment while providing a contemporary elegance as a constant visual interactive experience, animated by ambient and LED lighting and still containing an educational component for kids of all ages.