IN DEVELOPING A WORK OF ART FOR A SPECIFIC LOCATION, THE SITE ITSELF PLAYS A MAJOR ROLE, INFLUENCING SCALE, COMPOSITION, AND SUBJECT. I ALSO, WHENEVER POSSIBLE, LIKE TO ENGAGE THOSE WHO WILL BE LIVING WITH THE ART AS PARTICIPANTS IN THE PROCESS.
VSAA: Lit Up
In 2013 K.C. Madsen was commissioned by Vancouver School of Arts and Academics (VSAA), a public high school in Vancouver, Washington, to create a piece in collaboration with students in the Literary arts program. The resulting piece entitled, Lit Up, spans a broad sunlit hallway on the second floor of the VSAA building. A description mounted near the work reads:
Stories open up our lives to more stories—our own stories—fueling our imagination and taking us who knows where, up and out into a rich and boundless world where anything is possible. Students contributed to this piece with their favorite books, their writings and, most of all, with the example of their unbridled energy and optimism.
Medium: Acrylic, collaged recycled materials, encaustic and treated industrial paper on wood panel
Size: 27′ x 7′ x 1′
AHA: Deluxe Noiseless
In 2008, K.C. Madsen was commissioned to create a sculptural wall relief for the entry to the Vancouver-based creative agency, AHA. The piece would reflect the organization’s energy and creativity, as well as its origin as a writing firm. The paper wall relief appears to be unfurling from a typewriter, initially at a low relief from the wall and then expanding in breadth, bubbling and churning in a mass of color, texture and energy as it grows upward, across the wall and out from the wall’s intersection with the ceiling.
In the development process, Madsen collected resource materials from employees who contributed bits and scraps of their experiences with AHA. These artifacts included notes, doodles, photos, client work, etc. and were be photocopied and embedded in collaged panels. In the process of forming the sculpture/relief, these fragments and contributed items would ultimately be distressed, destroyed or barely visible in the finished artwork. The end result is a work that embodies the creative energy of its environment, expressing the personality and culture of AHA while inspiring those who wander through the door. The description mounted near the work reads:
This work evokes how words on a page translate to ideas and ultimately to a visual cacophony of creative output. It foretells how the new vista that surrounds AHA will change and inform its collective consciousness. Like a river, AHA’s words will flow out through a landscape of ideas and inspire the future. Employees contributed to this work by offering the bits and pieces of AHA! ephemera that form the ground of the painting and that imbue the work with the spirit and personality of AHA.