August 1, 2016 – clerestory completed and upcoming projects

August 1, 2016 – Announcing the completion and dedication of the permanent large-scale commission clerestory in the newest branch of the Denver Public Library. An opening and dedication will take place Tuesday, August 9 from 6:00 – 7:00 PM [directions]. Other upcoming projects include shows at the Harwood Museum in Taos, NM and the Projective Eye Gallery of the University of North Carolina – details to be posted soon.

Five years in the making, clerestory is an architecturally integrated optical work that brings views of the sky into the library’s vaulted Storytime Tower, a place used for storytelling in the children’s collection. Whenever the the sky outdoors is bright, the vault is illuminated by images of the sky, clouds, treetops, and neighboring building. The imagery changes constantly, a direct live projection of what is happening immediately outside. The projection is natural, with no electronics or power source other than the light outside.

The work is based on the camera obscura, a Latin term for ‘darkened chamber’ in which a small opening admits light from the bright outdoors into an interior space. It’s the basis for the cameras we use today, whether they be sophisticated professional cameras, mobile phones, or pinhole cameras. clerestory uses a system of two apertures and two mirrors with a corresponding curved ceiling vault on which images are projected and focused.

Design work began in 2011 as the library was on the drawing board. The installation involves custom designed and fabricated optical elements– the largest ever used in Jackson’s work– and careful integration with the building’s structure. Many thanks to Contrast, Syntec Optics, and Denver Arts and Venues.

The Rodolfo ‘Corky’ Gonzales Branch Library is at 1498 Irving St. Click for directions.