Acreage Library, Palm Beach County, Florida, USA, 2012
Integrated art for the lobby of the Acreage Library is a metaphor for both historic and modern ways that the sun produces energy. Historically, photosynthesis was essential to the Acreage’s agricultural endeavors, symbolized in the art with a suspended orange tree sculpture rendered in forms and materials that interact with light. Fruit is represented with orange and green blown glass globes that are each illuminated with an internal LED bulb. Branches are fabricated from polished stainless steel tubes. Diamond-shaped leaves are cut from iridescent and mirrored silver and green acrylic. The bending of light as it hits the reflective surfaces of the leaves and branches causes a kaleidoscopic optical effect.
Today’s productivity with sunlight is represented with a photovoltaic module on the roof of the Library that powers the light sculpture, thereby overlaying modern and historic forms of energy production. An interactive panel on a wall below the sculpture illustrates the kilowatt hours being produced by the solar panels and consumed by the orange tree sculpture. Viewers can press a button on the panel to turn on LEDs that first make the green oranges appear to ripen, and eventually illuminate all the glass globes. An interpretive booklet by the artists describes the project and how it contributed a LEED credit to the new building for Innovation in Design. It is housed in the reference section of the Library. Windows flanking the sculpture are painted with a barcode pattern that references the ISBN of the booklet, with an orange background inspired by citrus skin.
Productive Light was commissioned by Palm Beach County Art in Public Places and fabricated by CWDC Inc.