Salt Lake City Arts Council is excited to unveil the latest public art installation at the new Fire Station 14 located at 3800 W. and California Ave. Matt Thurber, Communications Manager with the Salt Lake City Arts Council writes this latest blog on the artists’ process and how the installation honors the firefighters who work and live there.
This fall, Rob and Shelley Beishline of Tooza Design celebrated the completion of their interior and exterior public art project for the new Salt Lake City Fire Station No. 14 at 1285 South and 3800 West. The structure is one of only two net-zero fire stations in Utah which produces as much or even more energy than it consumes. It’s a building known for its fusion of modern design and trailblazing, energy-efficient amenities throughout the two-story structure.
While the station has been open since May 2018, the artistic duo recently put the finishing touches on two art installations which have been a labor of love; much like their two-decade journey of marriage and creative collaboration.
“Rob is the one with an architectural background and soft and delicate hands. I’m the one with calluses, cracks, and cuts on my fingers,” said Shelley Beishline, noting the Yin and Yang duality of being not only spouses but also creative business partners.
Tooza Design was commissioned in 2017 for the Fire Station No. 14 public art project, which gave them approximately one year to create a large-scale set of seven, six-foot rings on the building exterior when viewed from above; resembles a firehose. The interior portion of the art installation is an elaborate mural designed to display pictures which can be rotated, replaced and updated with new images at any given time.
“As far as the rings, it’s my modern interpretation of a firehose. Firefighters are in motion, constantly moving, on the run, saving lives, putting out fires and rescuing people,” said Shelley, who also noted she considered the station’s sense of unity and teamwork while creating the display. “We also had the pleasure to work with [Salt Lake City Fire Chief] Chris Milne and could incorporate feedback that tied into the station’s mission statement.
Tooza Design especially enjoyed working with the exterior steel rings because the durability is designed to withstand the elements and includes a special powder coating to help extend the display’s longevity and lifespan. “The rings that spin have a bearing mechanism on the inside. We designed the shaft around an existing, sealed manufactured bearing axle that makes sure the object will last a lot longer,” said Rob.
In addition to Tooza Design’s project completion at Fire Station No. 14, the artists’ other large-scale work can be viewed at various spots throughout the Salt Lake Valley. Over the years, the team has worked on projects at the Millcreek Public Library and Recreation Center, art at the UTA TRAX Station on Kimball Lane in Draper and more recently, the Flying Objects displays along 300 South in Downtown Salt Lake City.
“We’re so grateful for the [Salt Lake City] Public Art Program and the opportunities extended to Tooza Design. When you’re working on large art pieces, it can be extremely expensive, and you can’t always produce the projects of your dreams,” said Shelley. “Public Art [funding] gives people like us a chance to make these creations because we don’t have this list of private clienteles or a large gallery space like many artists.”
Another challenge which turned into exciting collaboration was maximizing their budget and acquiring materials form local vendors. The couple acknowledges the project could never have been completed without assistance from a network of other local artists and fabricators including Metal Arts for the external component and Ferrari Color who were instrumental with providing the graphic panels for the fire station’s interior.
Community groups or patrons interested in checking out the interior artwork are encouraged to contact Fire Station No. 14 ahead of time. The exterior art is fully functional and can be accessed on the station’s perimeter.
For more information on the Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Public Art Program, please visit: http://saltlakepublicart.org. To see more from Tooza Design, visit the artists’ website, http://toozadesign.com/index.html
Photos | Tooza Design