Aerial Art: Janet Echelman’s New Sculpture

April 6, 2015


"Impatient Optimist" at the Gates Foundation

“Impatient Optimist” at the Gates Foundation

“Janet Echelman is known for her monumental art installations: intricately woven net sculptures that light up the sky with their billowing, colourful forms.  Responding to wind, water and light, these mesmerizing works transform public spaces into contemplative oases.”
— Tristan Manco, Big Art, Small Art

A Janet Echelman sculpture was recently installed at the Gates Foundation in Seattle.  She was unknown to me until now, and I am pleased that one of her works grace our city.

“Echelman’s evocative and organic forms channel the ebb and flow of the wind, reminding us that nature penetrates even the densest urban spaces.  The sheer scale of the work instills a sense of wonder, drawing us to the sculptures as focal  points in the city and, as a consequence, reconnecting us with each other through public art.”
— Tristan Manco, Big Art, Small Art



Although Echelman’s precisely engineered Seattle piece, called “Impatient Optimist,” is a marvel in day time, it takes on an even more ethereal presence at night.





You can read more about Echelman in this Smithsonian article, or by watching her TED talk, “Taking Imagination Seriously.”

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