Click here to view one example of flit's lighting capabilities!

Click here to view one example of flit's lighting capabilities!

Flit by Nizar Schaller
(Circle Drive Sculpture Contest winner)

Wisconsin artist Nizar Schaller drew his inspiration for Flit while watching a sparrow on the campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture that was building its nest. “The sculpture is a tribute to nature. Growth in nature happens over extended periods of time; when you go out into the garden to observe a plant, it doesn’t seem to change, but if you go a week later and then another week later, it is completely transformed,” said Schaller. “There’s an underlying geometry, but the unfolding is never the same.”

Unveiled at the Wilson Center's premier arts education fundraiser, The Big Event, on Saturday, June 4, 2016, Flit stands 15 feet tall in the Soerens Circle Drive outside the Wilson Center main entrance. At night, Flit animates its surroundings, emitting its own light in soft hues and colors, giving the sculpture a nocturnal presence. The combined energy for the whole array of the 122 LED lights on the sculpture is 6-8 watts and can be controlled to animate and illuminate during functions.

About the artist: Nizar Schaller is an artist and designer, with training in both the United Kingdom and South Africa. Exploring relationships between natural and built environments, Schaller takes a philosophical approach to his creative processes and design principles. Structural interventions are used to echo the natural environment, creating a place for open discourse and social exchange. His work exists in its natural state, combining raw materials with manmade to question the perception of natural environments. Schaller holds a Bachelor’s of Architectural Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is a Master of Architectural Studies candidate from the Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. He has worked as a designer and architect contributing to both residential and commercial projects; most recently, he designed and built an architectural folly on the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture Campus in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Recent awards include the Taliesin Fellows Scholarship Award.

Click here to watch a WISN 12 NEWS interview between Nizar Schaller and WISN co-anchor Melinda Davenport.

Host by Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades
(Summer 2015 Sculpture Contest Winner)

Submitted as a design concept by the internationally known Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades, the acorn-shaped Host is designed to interact with nature, with its shape and color to reflect the natural setting of its installation site: the North Woods location on the north side of the Wilson Center. Oak trees are an important part of the natural environment of Wisconsin as well as its history. At least seven kinds of oak trees are native to the area and several significant oaks are located on the grounds of Mitchell Park, some dating as far back as 1750. According to Simpson and Georgiades, “The acorn seems like an apt metaphor for the role of the Wilson Center in the community—helping residents and visitors grow into their potential as citizens and stewards of the culture and environment." The compartments in the sculpture will be built to contain plant material during the growing season, and during the winter, bird seed can be placed in the compartments to create visual and educational interest during the colder months. The artists intend to use salvaged lumber for most of the sculpture as possible . The sculpture is about 6’ in its longest dimension and has an inner aluminum framework to allow drainage, with salvaged wood inserts. The wood will be stained a palette of ochre and terra cotta-red, and will be built with full consideration of safety and durability concerns.

Materials: Aluminum framework, salvaged lumber, paint, plant material

Dimensions: 6' h x 50" dia.

About the artists: Gail Simpson and Aristotle Georgiades are sculptors and public artists who work individually and as part of Actual Size Artworks, a collaborative team. We are committed to the idea of artist as citizen and believe in the transformative potential of artwork in the community. Our work is characterized by a strong profile, a sense of humor, and excellent craftsmanship. Our public art projects can be seen in Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Nevada, Kansas, North Carolina, Minnesota, Illinois, and other locations nationally. We have also exhibited temporary projects around the United States and Europe. Simpson has an MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is originally from Chicago. Her individual work expresses her interest in the intersection between the built and natural environment. Aris Georgiades is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from University of Michigan. His sculptures use salvaged building materials and objects, related to issues of adaptability and the changing nature of work, usefulness, and ambition. His work can be seen at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago. Both artists reside in Stoughton, Wisconsin, and teach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

The Traveler by Michael Kautzer
(Summer 2015 Sculpture Contest Winner)

Based on the idea of a classroom, the inside of The Traveler is covered in chalkboard paint that provides children and adults the opportunity to leave their mark. The sculpture has been selected for installation at the bend in the Greenway Trail south of the Wilson Center, and it is comprised of panels 6' in height and various lengths, the longest being 11'. The outside faces are inspired by flowers surrounding Wilson Center. Traveler provides the community a unique opportunity to essentially have an outdoor gallery and classroom available 24/7. The piece provides the space for dialogue between artists, community members and nature, as well as opportunities for interesting programming for visitors of all ages.

Materials (each panel): 2x4 stud frame sheathed in .5" plywood, trimmed in unfinished red cedar, connected with steel hinges, supported by 4x4 posts buried in the ground.

Dimensions (panel sizes): 6'H x 9'W (2.5' x 5' horizontal/vertical opening); 6'H x 11'W (3.5' x 1.75' vertical openings)

About the artist: A graduate of the UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture, Michael Kautzer has spent the last eight years exploring the concept of "epitecture" or "architecture that relies upon": a concept that focuses on the positive aspects of adding architectural elements to natural and man-made environments. This exploration has produced such projects as FRAME gallery (a backpack-mounted gallery space), Epitectural Blockks (markers of underappreciated spaces), and Neu Museum of Contemporary Art (a museum celebrating the life and times of his grandparents), with each making use of a variety of media/art forms, including: sculpture, performance, and installation.