Glass finials of 10 different colors were placed atop wayfinding signs at various locations throughout downtown Eugene to act as beacons for pedestrians. The processes used for making the finials involved several different glassmaking disciplines and materials, including ladle casting, coldworking, recycling torchworked glass from various studios in and around Eugene and sheet glass produced at Bullseye Glass in Portland, Oregon.
The City of Eugene, Travel Lane County and The Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene collaborated to establish a pedestrian wayfinding program to bring a coordinated and artistic amenity to life, and to further enrich the cultural landscape of Eugene.
A public call was issued for glass artists with experience working with hot glass, flameworking and cold working techniques to create finials for a series of new wayfinding signs that will guide pedestrians to popular destinations throughout the downtown area. 10 initial finials were requested, each 8 inches in height, with the option for the city to purchase additional finials of the same design as needed in the future.
The City of Eugene Public Art Manager facilitated a selection committee that included City staff, a project design team member and arts professionals. The committee reviewed submitted qualifications and selected up to three finalists. Finalists were then provided a design stipend of $400 to develop their concept for 10 glass finials. After evaluation of the concepts, finalist Tim Jarvis was awarded the commission.
The glass finial design is based on the keystone or capstone of an archway. Keystones are placed at the apex of the arch during the final stage of construction, just as the placement of finials at the apex of the signposts were the final design element in the wayfinding project. The goal was to create something timeless and cohesive to the existing architecture and signage of Eugene.
Tim Jarvis is a Eugene-based sculptor and instructor. He specializes in hot glass, flameworking and cold working techniques, but also works with metals, stone and other organic materials. While teaching as Studio Manager at the University of Oregon for 10 years, he had the opportunity to collaborate across departments on projects with Art and Architecture, Material Science and Landscape Architecture. He currently works cooperatively with other professional artists and designers and is excited to have his work represented in the City of Eugene’s public art collection. jarvidesign.com
The primary outcome of this initiative was to develop and install a well-coordinated, eye catching and effective wayfinding system that orients resident and visitor pedestrians to Eugene’s landscape while bringing visibility to Eugene’s arts, culture and natural amenities.