Janet Echelman

I’m currently working on public art projects including Philadelphia’s City Hall Dilworth Plaza, which brings to the surface the pathways and frequency of the subway trains below using fog-curtains Janet Echelman Projectcombined with layers of colored light, interior projects for a major airport (SFO), a federal courthouse (MO), and a major arena (OR). I’m enjoying work on several temporary projects including the Aspen Ideas Festival and the Centennial Commission of the American Academy in Rome. Recent projects that were serious challenges but (thankfully) led to new innovations in my work include the Biennial of the Americas (Denver) which almost killed me but opened up a new trajectory for installing lightweight temporary projects, replacing the metal armatures with textile webs made from a fiber that is 15-times stronger than steel. In permanent commissions, I have tried to Janet Echelman Projecttransform a slice of urban space in Phoenix’s Civic Center Park, Richmond B.C.’s Olympic Ice Oval, and Porto, Portugal’s Praca Cidade Salvador. The skills I learned in Ron Heifetz’s class are useful to me in almost every project, helping allow me to navigate the treacherous obstacles of multi-stakeholder public capital projects. In particular, the need to nurture support, to build coalitions, to know where everyone stands before you get to a vote — these were ideas I first encountered during my Loeb year.

In the next 2 years, I will be bringing my kids (Lilly and Sam) with me on a Fulbright to Bhutan, India, and Bangladesh, and a residence at the American Academy in Rome. I seek advice on traveling with kids and how to nurture one’s marriage through the strains of commuting.

People: Janet Echelman

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