Sixteen Silos / Sixteen Shades of Yellow

with Artist Sanda Iliescu

Chesapeake, Virginia

This public art project was commissioned to celebrate the launch of the Money Point Revitalization Plan in Chesapeake, Virginia. Like the collective efforts of diverse groups who are making the Plan a reality, we collaborated on this temporary artwork with artist Sanda Iliescu and University of Virginia student volunteers. Suspended from sixteen concrete silos, the three pennants in shades of yellow billowed 150 feet above the river. Inspired by native wetland grasses, each resembled a luminous blade of grass. The yellow color suggests hopefulness: the lightest of all colors, yellow is the nearest to pure white light- what Aristotle called ìleukosî or ìpure luminosity. Yellow suggests warmth and sunlight, as well as wildflowers and fall leaves. Yellow is a color that bridges natural and common industrial features often painted OSHA yellow. Artworks made with found materials suggest ideas of transformation: of giving new life to otherwise worthless materials. Over twenty student artists stitched recycled plastic fragments into collages based on their own body measurements. Individual recycled tapestries were then sewn together as three pennants - a cumulative effort reflecting a broader design attitude that intertwines cultural and environmental ecologies on the Elizabeth River.

Construction drawings for 16 Silos / 16 Shades of Yellow by Sanda Iliescu

Sanda Iliescu and Phoebe Crisman

Conceptual drawing for 16 Silos / 16 Shades of Yellow by Sanda Iliescu

Photo: UVa student Deborah Ku