In early 2017, we saw the notice for submissions for the ART SHAPES! Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit sponsored by Stamford Downtown. If you’re not familiar with the event, each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit in Stamford, CT designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures lining the sidewalks and parks of the Downtown as well as the Stamford Town Center.
Sharon and I had pondered designing a Stamford Downtown sculpture previously, but were never able to prioritize it before the deadline. This year though, we came up with two designs. While “Cat Chasing Tail” (right, click to enlarge) made it to the 2nd round of judging, it was not chosen for a final. “Stamford Smiles Back At You” (see gallery below) had better luck and was selected to be painted onto a pyramid with 38 other local artists. “Smiles”, aka the Somrod Pyramid, originally was designed for a cube, but the Downtown representatives asked if we’d adapt it, and we gladly obliged.
The concept behind “Smiles” was four triangular Optographs that would be painted as murals instead of assembled out of our usual die-cut paper. Our design phase was essentially the same for when we’re doing Customs, but the scale was just a *tad* bigger. After we got the scaling mapped out, we printed out the pieces and hit the studio.
The three shapes for the event (spheres, cubes, and pyramids) were all manufactured in Nebraska by a company called Icon Poly, a custom 3-D fabricator that specializes in the use of high quality resins and rubbers. We believe they’ve fabricated many of the previous Stamford Downtown sculptures as well (love their giant spigot btw). The pre-primed surface was easy to sketch on, but our biggest challenge was dusting off our drawing skills, as we had not done a large scale drawing project in years. But after a day, the rust shook off and we saw how a painted Optograph was going to look.
We used a custom set of gloss exterior latex paints instead of artist’s acrylics to better handle the summer heat and rain. We began painting our sketch from there, and two coats on a few hundred shapes later, and we were ready for display. So for the summer, our pyramid is on Broad Street in Stamford, in front of the Bedford Street Garage. It’s hard to miss!
Anyway, here’s a gallery of the process for the Somrod Pyramid, “Stamford Smiles Back At You”:
Like the Somrod Pyramid, all of our designs are vector based and are scalable to much larger sizes. If you’re interested in learning about having us paint an Optograph based mural for you, contact us and we can discuss. Thank you for viewing!