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Pearl River

GSA, Art in Architecture Commission

New Jackson Mississippi Federal Courthouse, 2011

Ramp Wall Art: Pearl River


Overall Concept

This work is inspired by meandering of the Pearl River that flows through the site and represents a connection to the place and history of Jackson, Mississippi. Red terra cotta tiles of varying textures project a maximum of 4” from the wall and are a maximum size of 12” x 12” square. These relief tiles flow and wind up the ramp wall creating an illusion of movement and depth that visually leads one up the ramp to the next level. The artwork’s active linear quality contrasts with the bold, static architecture, meandering up and down the wall and terminating at the top of the ramp wall just before the upper lobby.  These meanderings were directly taken from ariel photographs, satellite imagery, and other maps of the Pearl River.




The ramp’s wall is to be lit from above with a theatrical, raking light emphasizing the relief of the artwork.



The required handrail is not attached to the wall but is freestanding creating a psychological barrier to the artwork within reach.


Terra Cotta Finish

Each unglazed terra cotta unit is individually made from various thicknesses of hand rolled layers of terra-cotta that are laminated and compressed into a tile. The work is made of clay prospected from several locations throughout the state of Mississippi including clay salvaged from the remains of my studio in Gulfport, Mississippi destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and since rebuilt.



Portable River

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