public art collaboration with artist wopo hollup
By: Mark Naugle
The new economy parking garage at Tampa International Airport was built by Brasfield and Gorrie. The Eastern elevator lobby features an installation by New York/Colorado artist Wopo Holup. Here is her concept:
“Florida Constellations” is a work in two parts, a carved limestone mural and a glass and stone terrazzo lobby floor. Ideas for the work consist of a sky view of the earth and a mind’s view of the sky. Tampa Bay and the west coast of Florida are mapped from above. It is the view of land we see taking off or landing from Tampa International Airport – a view in flight.
A satellite map of the west coast of Florida shows the land as a mixture of pink and green, the ocean is turquoise to indigo. The terrazzo floor is made of these shades of pink and green aggregate in the land area and glass aggregates in blues for the water areas. A single waterjet cut aluminum strip divides the land and water areas.
As this work was in the planning stages, the sky mural was clouds and sun, but quickly became a clear night sky with stars, and then with a smile, the star constellations were connected into astrology’s mythological creatures. These creatures metamorphosed to symbols and signs specific to Florida – the Florida panther, the flamingo, and an alligator. A porpoise and catfish became Pisces. The Florida Panther stands in the place of Leo, and native Timucua people are the Gemini twins.”
“Steward-Mellon Company installed the terrazzo floor. I worked with Mark Naugle who was responsive to artistic concepts in the design. He understood his materials and showed me good samples to match my ideas for “land and water” colors. During installation Mark’s workmen took great care to craft these ideas into a lasting work.“
Wopo was very “hands-on” on this project, working on her knees on the jobsite with our workers to translate her design to the floor. The terrazzo job was a complex one; essentially a pixelated map of the coast of West-Central Florida, made up of eight terrazzo design mixes. Four represented land, and four were water. There were no dividers between the hundreds of feet of color shifts in the floor, only at the land/water division. Wopo and our craftsman drew the full scale drawing directly onto the primed floor. “Patties” of epoxy terrazzo mix were then applied within their respective “pixel” and tooled to shape. Wopo was a joy to work with. She had a positive experience working with Steward-Mellon as well.
Wopo, we’re looking forward to working with you again in the future.