Three murals and a large sculpture/fountain - evidence of the federal government's new commitment to art in public places - will be dedicated Monday in Philadelphia by Joan Mondale and Jay Solomon, General Services Administration head.
David von Schlegell's "Voyage of Ulysses" is a 16-foot-tall, sail-shaped sculpture in the center of a 60-foot-wide pool. Water from three jets hits thesculpture and flows into the pool while a sheet of water rises from the bottom of the sail and makes a wave into the pool. Von Schlegell, 57, is an associate professor at Yale University's School of Art.
The sculpture fountain is in the plaza of the William J. Green Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse.
Al Held's two large companion murals - "Order/Disorder/Ascension/Descension" - are 13 feet high and 91 feet long. The large black-and-white acrylic geometric forms have an "op art" fool-the-eye quality: They seem to move forward and backward as you walk along. The murals are painted on two specially woven pieces of 1,183-square-foot pieces of cloth. The murals will be installed in a lobby of the Social Security Administration's Mid-Atlantic Program Center. Held, 49, is also on the Yale University art faculty.
Charles Searles' mural "Celebration" was suggested by a 1970 North Philadelphia street festival. The 9-foot-high by 27-foot-wide mural is mounted in the cafeteria lobby of the William J. Green Federal Building, a part of the $90 million federal building-courthouse complex. Searles, 40, is a teacher at the Philadelphia College of Art.
Searles received $30,000; Held $126,00 and von Schlegell $175,000 for their works. The art works were commissioned by GSA, and the artists selected from recommendations from the National Endowment for the Arts. This is the fourth recent major art work for Philadelphia from the GSA art-in-architecture program. The other is Louise Nevelson's "Bicentennial Dawn," a wood sculpture in the lobby of the U.S. Courthouse.