Brade Howe’s “Lever the Sun” at COPT’s National Business Park

18 Oct

The combination of the natural and architectural elements of California-based artist Brad Howe’s sculpture made a perfect fit for Corporate Office Properties Trust’s (COPT) new National Business Park in Annapolis Junction, Maryland, as the modern architecture of the surrounding buildings and the technological nature of their tenants demanded modernity yet the serene setting of the sculpture garden amidst the buildings also required the piece to evoke nature.  Brad Howe has built a reputation on his lively sculpture, using stainless steel to create sinuous, organic but abstract forms. While much of his work focuses on soft curves and bright colors, other pieces instead use his talent with stainless steel to emphasize architectural forms. The engineering put into making these pieces becomes a central theme, drawing the eye to the way in which the sculptural elements make use of balance and cantilevering.

"Lever the Sun" Under Construction

"Lever the Sun" under construction at Brad Howe's studio

Working closely with both the client and the artist, Artists Circle coordinated the design and commission of a new sculpture, Lever the Sun. Brad constructed a 1/12th scale model of the 21-foot sculpture in the same stainless steel the full-scale piece would be made from. Using the scale model as a guide, the Artists Circle crew built a full-scale model of the piece using foamcore board, a lightweight but strong material. We built the elements here in the barn over the course of several days, then transported the elements to the site where the sculpture would be installed. We then assembled the sculpture on-site so that the client could get a better feel for the scale of the piece and decide how it would be oriented.

After the client chose a surface finish pattern from a variety of samples the artist sent to us, he began construction of the sculpture elements at his studio in California. Artists Circle then coordinated the transport of the sculpture across the country to the installation site in Annapolis Junction. The artist and his assistant flew out to the site and arrived shortly after the sculpture and a crane used in the installation. By the end of the day, all of the sculpture elements were placed and welded together.

This project was ambitious and we were very  pleased to be fortunate enough to have both an incredible sculptor and a client who was so committed to making the artwork at their property be a central element of its design. Lever the Sun makes a commanding presence in the center of the NBP sculpture garden and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Brad Howe at Sculpture Opening

Brad Howe speaks about "Lever the Sun" at the COPT NBP Clark Commons Sculpture Garden Opening