Veterans Affairs Health Care System | Palo Alto
Triumph | Sculpture of Granite and Steel
Principal In Charge: Mark A. Moore | Project Engineer: Matt Frantz
A recent study by the US Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed the shocking statistic that roughly 20 veterans take their own lives each day. Government programs and concerned citizens have been working to support those who have suffered trauma, and one approach has been through the use of interactive art.
Richard Deutsch, an American sculptor was federally commissioned to create a public sculpture for the Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Palo Alto. He conceived of an art installation that would become a dynamic part of the healing process and offer a experiential and lyrical environment.
Have you ever wondered how some art installations seem to defy gravity? Many sculptures are simultaneously feats of art and modern engineering. Richard Deutsch describes this collaboration between artist and engineer: “The distinction between sculptor and engineer can be blurred, particularly when a sculpture is composed of engineered structures.”
Matt Frantz, Senior Associate, is a leader in ZFA's sculpture practice and has worked on projects with Mr. Deutsch since 2012. “To ensure we got things right, we utilized a 3D model during the engineering process,” said Matt. “There were some unexpected challenges which arose, such as how to support the massive vertical granite slabs, and the interconnection of the steel rings. Through collaboration with the artist we found a sound, elegant solution to both.”
The sculpture was unveiled this summer and is known as Triumph. Triumph is situated in front of the Polytrauma and Blind Rehabilitation Center and welcomes all who pass by.
The Heartfelt Words of General Colin L. Powell
On a large granite wall you will find the words of General Colin L. Powell* inscribed:
You care so deeply about this country,
Its ideals of democracy and freedom
You humble us with your commitment to duty
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts
For all of your service and your sacrifice
For your devotion and loyalty
It was an honor to work with Mr. Deutsch again, and to be part of this important project.
*excerpted from his 2011 welcome-home speech, delivered at the Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C., to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
To see other ZFA art installation projects click here.