To honor donors and Board of Trustees members for their investment in the college, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago commissioned the designers to create an engaging donor wall in the main lobby of the new LeRoy Neiman Center. Inspired by the school's core values—rigor, experimentation, playfulness and invention—the team designed an art installation all its own.
The installation features a slotted panel design, creating a system that can be easily adjusted as names are added or removed. Each slot contains a series of edge-painted acrylic blades that have been die-cut with a given name. Colors were selected to complement an adjacent LeRoy Neiman painting and also reference contribution level. An integrated lighting system interplays with each blade to a cast a shadow of individual names onto the wall surface below, allowing the installation to come to life. The repetition of this technique creates an unique and visually captivating installation that not only honors contributors, but captures the spirit of SAIC.
Inspired by SAIC's core values—rigor, experimentation, playfulness and invention—an evolving artistic artifact captures the spirit of the environment for the school's donor recognition installation.Romina Tonucci / VDTA
The colors used for signifying categories of donors reflect those of a signature painting in the space, composed by LeRoy Neiman, the American artist after which the center is named.Romina Tonucci / VDTA
SAIC's brand typeface was customized for optimal legibility of the shadowy names.Romina Tonucci / VDTA
A slotted panel design allows for easy maintenance and donor flexibility.Romina Tonucci / VDTA
The donor wall was strategically located adjacent to the space's grand stair, becoming a permanent installation within the gallery space.Romina Tonucci / VDTA
Project Location: Chicago, Illinois
Challenge: Create an updatable donor wall within the first floor entry gallery of the new LeRoy Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Solution: The solution was for the donor wall to become a part of the infrastructure of the entry gallery by becoming a permanent art installation. The shadow becomes the main visual deliverable of each donor name, poetically implying how institutional contributions by donors and alumni are at times out of the students perception, but critical to their education.