A day before the school year started in Edmonds, Wash., the last touch on the newly built Lynnwood High School was added. Sculptor Wayne Chabre hung his piece "Silver Seed" from the 45-foot-high ceiling in the spacious lobby called "the Agora."
"In Ancient Rome, the Agora was the market place, the spot for exchanging ideas," Chabre said. "For about a year the project was maturating in my mind, and I came up with the vision of a vessel, a human-made object that has both an organic shape and a machine look."
Silver Seed is made out of aluminum, and inside the vessel structure there is a DNA spiral that contains 12 different elements, each one coming from a different culture. Among the 12 containers, there is a wooden barrow, a laptop, a book, a scroll and a piece of an old vessel. The interior of the vessel is illuminated with LEDs.
"'Silver Seed' is an illuminating metaphor, doing double duty as a chandelier," Chabre wrote in his artist statement.
This is the first time Chabre has worked with LEDs.
"The school was very aware of the cost of lighting, so I made sure to use LEDs that use hardly any electricity. The whole installation inside the vessel uses as much electricity as a 60 watt bulb would use," said Chabre, who is sculptor of "A Delicate Balance" at the intersection of Main and Park streets and "Rooted," the sheltering pavilion at the Farmers Market on Main Street.
"The shape echoes forms recurring through time in the transport of information and energy. It can be seen as a ship, an airplane, a seed following currents from continent to continent, a spacecraft navigating the galaxies. Some people even see things I've never even imagined it to be," Chabre said.
"I try to make the most of my pieces whimsical and cartoonish, but not corny. The line between the two is very fine. 'Silver Seed' is a bit different. It's still whimsical but has a different kind of humor," Chabre said.
"I came up with the title from Neil Young's song 'After the Gold Rush' where he sings 'Flying Mother Nature's silver seed to a new home.'
"We're all in the same boat, and though we may eventually send our genetic code to other worlds, this planet has nurtured our evolution and it needs our constant protection ... we cannot let it spring a leak," Chabre wrote about his sculpture.
Dena Popova can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org