Fish Back In the Water! Public Art Award for Tacoma Aquarium Project

Written on June 6, 2017

The Metro Parks Tacoma Public Art Program recently selected Gordon to create artwork for the new Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Gordon understands the importance of protecting the very delicate ecosystems that are our oceans and was very inspired by the Aquarium’s main interpretive theme, “We share the ocean and the responsibility to protect it.” He is very honored to create artwork for this prestigious institution.

The Aquarium is currently undergoing a major redesign and modernization headed by San Francisco based architectural firm EHDD, of which the implementation of new public art is an imperative part. It is scheduled to open its doors to the public in 2018.

There are two major areas that are being considered for artwork treatments: the Jellies Ramp and the Marine Discovery Ramp. Each ramp presents very different light conditions. The Jellies Ramp has a low light level that creates a “moody” and dramatic environment that is well suited to a dense, glowing ceiling or suspended application. The Marine Discovery area is brighter and livelier and the design will be taking advantage of the abundant natural light of this space.

The proposed artwork should feel immersive and sing with the beauty and drama of the ocean. It should serve as a call to action and emphasize the themes of sustainability, wonder and responsibility for our oceans.

Both locations are separate but related, are intended to engage visitors and to reflect the Aquarium’s main interpretative theme. Gordon is excited to be given the opportunity to create artwork designs that address important social and environmental themes.