Function and aesthetics are addressed in the multi-faceted sculptural installations throughout the renovated plant campus, telling the story of how Salinas’s water is made safe to use and drink every day. Storage tank relief designs provide a bold and night-lit reference to nature’s methods of moving water through root systems, while tubular pipe sculptures depict manufactured networks that carry water above and below ground. These large-scale blue metalwork also offer creative solutions to the street closure, plant entrance designation, protective traffic bollards, a water-sample-size mailbox, and a historical listing of the streams, creeks, and rivers that supply water to the Salina community. Artists often provide design consulting and creative fabrication skills to community art and design projects. In some cases, artwork is designed to provide functional and decorative solutions. Salina’s Water Treatment Plant is unusual in its center-of-the-city location. Located between the large medical complex and historic Oakdale Park, the artist elected to honor the beautiful art deco of the original architecture as well as the function of the plant itself. The oldest structure on the campus has become a state-of-the-art administration building. Water storage, movement, and distribution became the focus for creative reference, while roots and pipes became the natural and manufactured symbols for the services provided by this essential City Department. Pipe sculptures serve as barricades, a mailbox large enough for water samples, street closing solutions that serve as entrance signage, and a display of the names of inlets that feed Salina’s water supply. Decorative relief sculptures depicting natural root systems adorn the concrete water basins and are dramatically backlit at night. Historic sensitivity, adaptive reuse, and physical enhancements honor the legacy of providing clean water to Salina. Artist’s Statement: “In the numerous buildings of the Salina Municipal Water Plant, people and processes are happening 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to provide the people of this city with water. Most amazingly, is what is not seen…3,000,000 gallons of water exist in vast underground chambers…water that has been made safe for you to use and drink every day.”
Murals are popping up all around Salina!
Check out what’s happening in the art scene across the country.
See this year’s Sculpture Tour and vote for your favorite!