The City of Ann Arbor partnered with the Ann Arbor Art Center to enhance the visual distinction of Stadium Boulevard by choosing a large-scale artwork to be installed as part of the soon-to-be reconstructed streetscape.
The Art Center posted a call for art and received 60 submissions, which were later reduced to three semi-finalists: Brian Brush, Katherine Larson, and Lisa Sauvé. These proposals went under a rigorous selection process that included reviews by a 15-person advisory committee, a public survey through community voting, and town hall meetings. The result was the recommendation of Brian Brush and his piece called Leaven:
Brian Brush’s vine-like relief sculpture, which he’s named 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.