Spotlight on NSCC’s Public Art

By Kimberly Murphy

Construction at New Settlement Community Campus progresses steadily toward the planned opening in September. With so many of the special elements of the building nearly finished, it is hard to select one area to highlight; however, the Public Art installation is one of my personal favorites.

The Public Art commissioned by NYC DOE through Public Art for Public Schools from Artist W Scott Trimble is integrated into the architecture of the building both physically and metaphorically. The building houses two schools: a PS and IS/HS, each with separate entrances and Lobbies but with a shared entry plaza. This division and connection is illustrated by Trimble’s design. Brightly colored intertwining paths generated at the entry plaza lead into each lobby. The yellow and blue paths, signature colors for the IS/HS, lead into the IS/HS Lobby; and the red and green paths, signature colors for the PS, lead into the PS Lobby.

Artist drawings of the Entry plaza design and the paths into the IS/HS and PS Lobbies

The artist’s design celebrates the vibrant activity of the school lobby and entry by dynamically transforming two dimensional paths into three dimensional objects. The school as a community benefits from carefully planned co-mingling of the various populations at key locations such as the entry plaza.

Left: IS/HS Lobby. Right: PS Lobby

The interior paths are created with water-jet cut terrazzo tiles by Wausau Tiles.

Once inside, the paths (which are a metaphor for exploration and learning) twist and turn and will transform into three dimensional benches and will then disperse to lead toward the classroom spaces.

The exterior paths are created with Lithocrete colored paving. The photos show the process of the Lithocrete colored bands being laid out, poured, recycled glass aggregate being set, and the final sealer being applied.

Completed Installation of the entry plaza artwork

The work was commissioned by Public Art for Public Schools and will be part of the collection of the NYCDOE.

Many thanks to W. Scott Trimble, Todd Hawkins of PAPS

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