Wondrous; carving the sky with words.
Words chosen from the library's collection are beautifully silhouetted.
Projecting onto the surrounding architecture.
Posing in the colorful shadows.
The colorful light display attracts attention..
Library visitors walk through the scupture's light reflection.
  • In →
  • Interactive,
  • LED,
  • Outdoor,
  • Steel

Wondrous is a glistening stainless steel sculpture composed of a cloud of words located at the entrance of the Wheeler Taft Abbett Library in Marana, Arizona. The artwork was developed from a personal memory of the artist recalling visits to the library throughout his childhood. It references the experience of reading many books simultaneously as the phrases from fiction, history, biography, and science swim around in one’s head and recombine into an abstract sense of knowledge. Wondrous was created through direct interaction with the community. Local visitors to the library contributed words from a series of different texts ranging from Harry Potter to romance novels. The visual word patterns were developed through software that arranges the phrases so that verbs tended to follow subjects and objects to follow verbs. This pattern encourages the reader of the artwork to move their gaze through the swarm of words and create phrases and connections with new meanings. At night, powerful LED lighting projects intense color through the word-cluster casting overlapping shadows in six colors on the landscape around the sculpture, the surrounding walls, and passersby alike.

completed, 2008

19' x 3' x 9'

galvanized steel, LED lighting

Marana, AZ

Commissioning Agency:
Tucson Pima Arts Council

Joe O'Connell