This sculpture was commissioned to commemorate Johnson City’s 150th anniversary, and the sculpture unveiling took place during the Sesquicentennial Celebration Grand Finale on December 1st, 2019. In keeping with themes of native flora and fauna present in the park, artists Jeff Reed and Jennifer Madden chose to pay tribute to Tennessee’s state wildflower (the passion flower) in their design. These three passion flowers mimic the three stars in the Tennessee flag and are sure to capture your attention with their rotating petals and 150 color changing LED filaments.
About the Artists:
Reed and Madden are award-winning sculptors who specialize in creating site-specific artwork for public environments. Their artwork is about creating the genius loci (spirit of the place) with elegant forms that tell a story about the uniqueness of the site. They aim for iconic sculptures that the community can take pride in. Artistically, the couple combines restrained elegance with playfulness – often using the movement of wind, light, shadow and water to emphasize the natural world. They work primarily with stainless steel, bronze, concrete, and stone.
Creating community gathering spots within their artwork often includes artistic seating in the shape of abstracted boats, oyster shells, or geologic formations, for example. “Coming About” in Tiburon, California is an example of their art-place-making; it has become the heart of the town, where gatherings both large and small happen daily. Their award-winning “Sun Flowers” installation in Palo Alto, California was specifically designed for eating outdoors. It is a kinetic streetscape that demonstrates the alternative energies of wind and solar. A field of seven tall umbrella-like “poppies” (California’s state flower) spin in the softest breeze, delighting children and adults alike. The long geologically inspired bench seating (which protects viewers from passing cars) contains a plaque explaining how the interior solar panels power L.E.D. lights at night. The project won highest honors for both Urban Design and Green Design from the S.F. American Institute of Architects, and sparked a “parklet” movement in the Bay Area to turn a few parking places into tiny parks.
Reed and Madden have a metal shop in Richmond, California. They are trained as architects and landscape architects and are licensed contractors. They work side by side through conceptual development, computer graphics, mock-ups, fabrication and installation. Stephen Heinen, a master builder and computer modeler, joined the couple in 2016. They have extensive experience collaborating with multiple city agencies and other professionals to get public art permitted and installed. Reed and Madden have completed more than two dozen large-scale outdoor sculptures for cities.