EMERGE MINI-READS

Vidustria

Vidustria South Lakes High School STEAM Team
2022 I Aluminum Composite Panels, Acrylic Panels, LED Lights, Screws, Spray Paint, Vinyl Print, Wood, Concrete Foundation 

This lenticular sculpture features a multiplicity of visual experiences, depending on the perspective of the viewer. Each facet contains a unique panel with figural and abstract forms that imply motion. The colorful, fluid patterns that adorn the top of the sculpture are visible from the upper floors of the nearby hotel and offices. 

Installed at Reston Town Center’s Hyatt Park in late November 2022, Vidustria is the result of community and private partnerships that supported the South Lakes High School (SLHS) STEAM Team in realizing the sculpture for the site. The SLHS STEAM Team Public Art Club began in 2012 when Reston resident, James Pan, envisioned local high school students creating an artwork to beautify Reston’s drab Lake Thoreau spillway platform. SLHS art teacher, Marco Rando, leads this extracurricular program along with annual partners Public Art Reston and Reston Association. 

To-date, the STEAM Team has realized eight site-specific, temporary sculptures for the spillway platform. The success of this program inspired Reston Town Center Association to commission the STEAM Team to create a temporary installation for Hyatt Park. As with the Lake Thoreau spillway projects, the students gained real-world experience while following a professional public art process, including presentations to Public Art Reston’s Public Art Committee and the Reston Town Center Design Review Board for conceptual and final approval of the sculpture, as well as to the County for engineering permits for the site. 

Many other entities contributed in-kind support to this project: The Hyatt allowed use of the space and a power source; Commercial Concrete poured six 4′ concrete piers to secure the installation, and bolted the 12′ beams to those piers, to which the sculpture is attached; Power Services ran electrical and secured conduit and wiring; Thornton Tomasetti provided pro bono architectural design services; Provectus offered pro bono structural engineering; Boston Properties, with RTCA, provided financial support; Yellowstone Landscaping transported the sculpture to the site and assisted with installation, grading, and seed; RAMCO expedited the county permitting process; and FASTSIGNS discounted signage.

Artist Statement:

Atoms are minuscule particles, fundamental building blocks which combine to create all tangible objects in this universe. Alone, they are nothing. Together, they are everything. People, especially the students who made Vidustria, can be compared to these atoms due to their interconnectivity, a recurring theme within this sculpture. However, atoms have one deficiency: they do not compose energy, only matter. This is where the students of South Lakes High School have the upper hand. The unique, individual energy that each person has put into Vidustria is what elevates this artwork above the molecular foundations of the cosmos.

On one side of the sculpture is a series of figures in motion, while on the other side, a set of human irises, floating as if they’re celestial bodies. Both representations are meant to be universally recognizable. Interconnectivity is intertwined with one’s humanity, by simply inhabiting a body and perceiving this world (whether visually or not), people naturally gravitate toward one another based on these shared experiences. It should be easy to see yourself in Vidustria, to acknowledge the relationships you forge with other people and the energy that these relationships establish.

Such is conveyed through the name of the sculpture itself, Vidustria, which is drawn from the word vigor and the Latin term industria, meaning “energy.” The name is meant to reflect the effort, resilience, determination, spirit, and passion that were put into the installation. Looking back at interconnectivity, the aim of Vidustria is to represent this concept through abstractions of the human form, which is a transcendental source of energy, whether physical, mental, or emotional.

Owner: Reston Town Center Association.

On-site photo credit: Susan Silva

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