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Marin County Health & Wellness Campus Art Installation
Marin County, CA
Sarah Willmer in Collaboration with Carol Koffel

The Team
The Team of Carol Koffel and Sarah Willmer brings museum quality ceramic art, design expertise (industrial and architectural), manufacturing and construction experience working with diverse groups to the Marin Arts Council. Our shared experiences can facilitate a creative dialogue to integrate Marin community input, site-specific goals for serenity, and innovative public art at the Marin County Health and Wellness Campus.

What we propose
Our vision for a public art installation at the Marin County Health and Wellness Campus uses terra cotta, a material of the earth to accent and soften the architectural palette of industrial materials. The natural color of terra cotta will pick up the hues of grasses in the landscaped courtyard and compliment the copper patina on the mansard roofs.

An invitation toward healing made through the use of color and the dynamic surface.
We propose a field of cut terra cotta tubes, raw on the outside with a high sheen colorful glazed interior, clustered and turned to shape a low profile undulating surface. The tubes will be glazed in modulating colors that play off the site signage and reference the colors of Pacific Rim countries.

Terra cotta clay is a basic material taken from the earth. Each culture uses clay in a unique manner linking the art installation with multiple cultural references. The selection of this simple material and the preservation in a “raw” state offers grounding to the multi cultural individuals who visit the center; an invitation to see and enjoy the courtyards as a natural sanctuary.

Our Team looks forward to the possibility of installing a terra cotta surface offering a dynamic art piece that shifts with seasonal conditions.
Seen upon egress or ingress to the Marin Health and Wellness Center through the gate at 3250, the surface will change as the sun moves and with seasonal conditions drawing the viewer’s eye to an ever-changing art installation. In the winter raindrops will cascade in gentle streams and in summer there will be shadows cast on the building’s wall. These shadows and sunlight caught in the angle cut terra cotta tubes will enliven the surface. The angle cuts on the tubes will turn in orientation and the perceived interior color will shift depending on lighting conditions. As a family or individual walks toward the courtyard, their view of the piece will change offering them a fresh experience of the art installation each time they pass it.

Our treatment includes addition of a curved line in black pavers (to match those installed in other planted zones of the courtyard). Integrating the viewers’ experience with other art features like the water fountain and gardened features seen in the courtyard. Further softening the entry to the Health and Wellness Center. We propose to augment the planting scheme in the garden space just below the art wall, coupling the ground plane with the art installation and one’s experience. This welcomes the visitor to linger in the courtyard as a respite from the surrounding industrial complex or the issues that brought them to the center.

A symbolic gift offered as an ode to the common knowledge that time heals.