Amanda Wojick Creates Public Art for Salem Library

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Large-scale sculpture commissioned through City’s Half-a-Percent for Public Art Program

Large-scale sculpture commissioned through City’s Half-a-Percent for Public Art Program

​Salem's newest work of public art is by Eugene, Oregon-based artist Amanda Wojick. Call Number Cascade, a site-specific sculpture on the main floor of the newly renovated Salem Public Library is a whimsical composition of color and form inspired by a love of libraries, landscapes, and a story of seven hidden waterfalls not far from Salem. Wojick thinks of the work as a three-dimensional painting that incorporates perforated and folded cutouts of numbers, rectangles, and abstract shapes inspired by the waterfalls.

The hand-painted steel sculpture is sited on a double-height concrete sheer wall on the library's main floor. This is one of four such walls installed as part of the seismic safety upgrades. Constructed from tilted, painted and welded steel panels arranged in layers to create a three-dimensional relief, the work features a variety of colorful shapes and images that invite interpretation and sustained viewing.

"I've been waiting a long time to see it installed; dreaming about what it would look like from various vantage points in the library was very exciting to me," said Wojick. "I wanted the colors to feel very vibrant and connected to the different seasons. There are multiple layers that I think you may not notice all at once." (YouTube – Amanda Wojick Art Installation).

The new artwork was funded through the City of Salem's half-a-percent for public art program, using funds generated from seismic upgrades to the library. Through this process, a Request for Qualifications was announced in December 2019 and shared with Oregon and regional arts organizations. A selection committee that included members of the Salem Public Art Commission, the Salem Public Library Foundation, Library Advisory Board, Hacker Architects, and Library staff selected Wojick in March 2020 from a pool of thirty-three artists who responded to the call.

Amanda Wojick's work has been exhibited widely; she is the recipient of national fellowships and awards from the MacDowell Colony, Mass MoCA, the Oregon Arts Commission, The Ford Family Foundation and Sculpture Space, among others. Her work is in public and private collections including the Portland Art Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum. Wojick received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Colgate University, and holds two Master of Fine Art degrees from Alfred University and Bard College in New York. She is a professor of sculpture and the Ann Swindells Chair of the Department of Art at the University of Oregon where she has been teaching since 2001.

An exhibition of works on paper by Amanda Wojick will be on view at the Salem Public Library through January 2022. The exhibition will feature nine works on paper that give the public an opportunity to learn more about the artist's creative process and the inspiration behind Salem's newest artwork. The exhibition is sponsored by the Salem Public Art Commission with support from the Salem Public Library.