Art in Public Places in the Texas Panhandle
By: Mark Naugle
Jim Hirschfield is a very busy man.
He is Professor and chair of the Intellectual Life Committee at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a prolific creator of site-specific public art, as well as more museum oriented installations. We have enjoyed working with Jim on several projects over the years, including the City of Tampa’s Trolley Stops, and we were very excited when he approached us for some granite benches. The design concept was daunting; 2” thick black granite slabs set as benches on stainless steel supports, Imagery depicting fire and water was to be sandblasted into the polished granite surface. The tough part was that centered into the 6 foot square panels was cubic white marble, sculpted into a bowl on one (water) and a dome on the other (fire). The archival value of the pieces was of great inportance, since the works were to be exposed to the harsh climate. The sculpted marble forms were affixed to the granite slabs with stainless brackets and Methylmethacrylate resin manufactured by Key Resin Company. We worked closely with Jim on all facets of the planning and execution of the project, and in the end, we had the stainless bases shipped to our shop, where we applied our fabricated pieces. We then delivered and installed the works at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas. The pieces weighed about 3000 lbs each.