Some of the projects we work on put us in a state of “awe” when we see the final product and this is one of them. James Brenner Sculpture, out of NE Minneapolis, called on help from JIT Companies to help with some glass cutting and polishing EDGE District Gateway Project installed around the perimeter of the downtown St. Peterburg’s historic EDGE District. James’ art works range from community driven, interactive, and site specific projects; to large-scale, steel, glass and light sculptures, like this one. JIT Companies was honored to have a part in this truly captivating work of art through precision water jet cutting, glass edge polishing, and developing custom assembly fixtures for this project. James was happy with the collaboration and results, “The team at JIT has always worked with me to find good solution to how we can execute some of my crazy ideas. I am very particular, and their patience and professionalism is well matched to my creative personality. Thank you, JIT!”
Let’s take a closer look at the Edge District Gateway Project…
EDGE District Gateway Project Highlights
- Each of the two large gateway sculptures contains over 2000 lbs. of glass.
- The glass is laminated with Silicone rather UV bonding for flexibility needed for shipping and the hot humid climate in Florida.
- The signature glass plate was waterjet cut by JIT Companies. JIT also did the glass processing on the sculpture including precision water jet cutting and edge polishing of each individual glass plate.
Sculpture Markers at the Gateway Entry
The new artistic and iconic gateway entry Sculpture Markers serve as a collective landmark feature for the EDGE District of St. Petersburg, FL. Relating to each other in form, function and material, the site-specific markers help to build a cohesive, attractive, and distinctive sense of place within the community. Although solid and heavy, the twisting glass form provides a sense of flexibility and lightness as it appears to curve into the district itself. As one moves around each piece there is ample interaction through the transparency of the glass as focal points are shifted and colors, light, and forms of the EDGE District are captured and filtered for the viewer.
The EDGE District Gateway Project consists of ten sculptures made of glass and steel, installed around the perimeter of the EDGE District. Two of the sculptures (8’h x 3’-8” l x 1’-2’w) create powerful and iconic identifiers on the bookends of the District. They contrast a twisting tower of hand sculpted green jade float glass with the natural rust surface of weathered Cor-ten steel, accented with stainless steel and LED lighting. The remaining eight sculptures (6’h x 1’-2’w) located at focal points around the District consist of sculpted jade green float glass, weathered Cor-ten steel, and solar lighting.This project consists of multiple gateway markers utilizing one design. Artist James Brenner explained some of the complexities that came with transporting the unique sculpture, “We had to build special pallets with a special “compression” top to “hold down” the 8-foot-tall twisted monolithic form. Then the top was welded to a secure position all ten-sculpture arrived to St. Petersburg, Florida from Minneapolis, Minnesota in one piece– no damage at all. We were very happy.”
Materials with Sense of Stability & Mobility
The designs incorporate sculpted jade green glass (float glass), Cor-ten weathering steel, LED lighting and stainless steel. These materials combine solidity with fluid mobility, shifting in mass and shape in response to the time of day and the viewer’s perspective. By day the steel has a warm natural finish, and the sculpted glass plays with the light as it gleams through its hand chipped, jewel like texture. By night the illuminated glass elements create a dialogue of light and color. See more photos of the sculptures here. Through this dual sense of stability and motility, a transformative relationship between physical space and the diversity of individual reactions to that space is mirrored. Interestingly, Jim pointed out, “Since its installation, a car has run into a smaller 6-foot-tall sculpture. It was going fast enough that it knocked over the steel & glass piece and ripped the footing out of the ground. I am happy to say the sculpture survived quite well, even the 12” x 12” x 12” block of glass at the top! The car however was totaled.”
“The team at JIT has always worked with me to find good solution to how we can execute some of my crazy ideas. I am very particular, and their patience and professionalism is well matched to my creative personality.”
-James Brenner, Artist
Background of St. Petersburg’s Historic EDGE District
The Edge District’s website proudly states, “Downtown St. Petersburg’s historic EDGE District is a global destination and ideal urban living place. Rooted in rich history of pioneering and industry, the district features restored buildings, landscaped corridors with majestic palms, public art, and eclectic shopping, dining, and cultural experiences. The district’s authentic, safe, and beautiful environment promotes a connected, active community.”
JIT is Honored to Help Bring this Art to Life
It was a privilege working with James Brenner and to be a small part of the process to bringing projects like this to life! Next time you need assistance with a project, contact JIT Companies online or call us at 507-326-5240. You’ll be glad you did!
Images courtesy of James Brenner Sculpture. Click on any photo below to enlarge for more detail.