Burning beautification? Public art piece removed from Genesis Centre entrance
A $559,000 art installation which, until recently, had been located outside of the Genesis Centre for Community Wellness in the northeast is the target of heated scrutiny.
‘The Wishing Well’, created by Living Lenses, is a mirrored, polished stainless steel sphere dissected to form a symmetrical shell containing another sphere representing a seed. The sculpture measures 4 metres by 5.7 metres by 4 metres.
In January 2013, an art admirer was standing inside one of the reflective dishes when she realized her coat had been scorched by the refraction of the sun’s rays.
Following the incident, a fence was erected around the sculpture. The San Francisco based artists attempted to fix the issue but their efforts proved unsuccessful.‘The Wishing Well’ was removed and transported to a storage facility.
Carol Steiner, the president of the Genesis Centre for Community Wellness, says she had safety concerns about the sculpture from the start.
“I remember thinking when I saw the design that I hope some physics person looks into this because it was highly reflective, it’s in a very sunny climate, to make sure that those sun rays don’t get concentrated in a negative fashion,” said Steiner.
Steiner says she was shocked, saddened and disheartened to hear the plans for the high dollar art piece did not undergo adequate research and testing.
The City of Calgary has paid 75 per cent of the cost of The Wishing Well and has not formally accepted ownership of the artwork.
If Living Lenses is unable to repair the piece, city officials are expected to seek reimbursement for its cost.
With files from CTV's Kevin Green