Brian Brush’s vine-like relief sculpture, Leaven, mimics and magnifies the adjacent elements of Stadium Boulevard’s streetscape. It also mediates the contrast between the site’s natural green elements and the newly built concrete environment. Using a running pattern of diamond-oriented aluminum “leaves,” Leaven reflects and translates the movement of clouds, trees, cars, and people into a diffused and softened illusion of rustling leaves. The aluminum being used in this installation is 1/16″ thick, and rigid spacers freeze the bend angles of the aluminum “leaves” in place and conceal wall anchors. In addition to softening and scattering incoming light, the aluminum’s anodized finish prevents rusting and eliminates heat/burn hazards. Incoming light is also unlikely to come from vehicles given the installation’s placement parallel to the roadway.
In 2017 the City of Ann Arbor partnered with the Ann Arbor Art Center to select artwork for a reconstructed streetscape on Stadium Boulevard. Led by an advisory committee with members of the Public Art Commission, Ann Arbor Art Center, and the public, 60 submissions were reviewed following an open call. Following an initial review, 3 semi-finalists were selected. These proposals went under a selection process that included reviews by the advisory committee, a public survey through community voting, and town hall meetings. The result was the recommendation of Brian Brush and his piece, Leaven.