artist: Ralph Helmick
material: silver-painted steel
architects: William Rawn Associates, Boston, MA
OPN Architects, Cedar Rapids, IA
site: US Courthouse, Cedar Rapids, IA
fabrication and installation: JunoWorks, Denver, CO
engineering: LeMessurier Consultants, Cambridge, MA
lighting design: Roger Smith Lighting Design, Phoenix, AZ
commissioned by the General Services Administration
E Pluribus is inspired by the transformative experience of serving on a jury. Situated in the grand atrium of the new federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the sculpture employs perforated metal profiles of local citizens, reflecting the current demographics of the community.
This gallery of potential jurors is arranged in an hourglass shape, a spatial metaphor for the journey embarked upon when judging a fellow citizen. One enters the courthouse as an individual, engages with peers with the goal of establishing consensus, and emerges again as an individual in a process marked by such varied states as clarity, confusion, inquiry, sympathy, antipathy and compromise.
Moiré patterns from overlapping silhouettes lend an optical effervescence to the sculpture from all perspectives within the site. Views down into and up through the artwork provide subtly vertiginous perspectives.
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