Key to the City ~ Columbia, MO
Scale: 25 feet ~ Materials: Concrete, steel, glass, LED lights ~ 2014
This is the most photographed artwork in Columbia. The iconic sculpture, located in front of the Columbia City Hall Plaza, is constructed of structural steel, with laminated glass images of people and places in Columbia. The walk-through keyhole is a way-finder and the entrance to city hall. The keyhole is a metaphor for secrets, solutions and unlocking the heart. Programmable LED lighting illuminates semi-transparent panes of glass at night.
The color and intensity change with seasons and events, and the pathway is created from local recycled glass mixed into the concrete.
A Personal Story
It's one thing to create a public sculpture that becomes the most photographed icon in the city. That's a fulfilling experience.
But to create a piece of art that touches people's lives, that embraces them every day is the joy of every artist.
Key to the City is just that. Kids and adults play hacky-sack beside the sculpture. Business people meet. Women become brides and men become grooms beneath the sculpture. The Irish celebrate with a beer when it turns green on St. Patty's Day and lovers gather when the sculpture turns a crimson on Valentine’s Day.
How did it happen? I simply wanted to take the intimidation of “You Can’t Fight City Hall”out of the public's fears and offer instead the promise of a city of openness and receptivity. Visitors understood and they celebrate the feeling.