Bowling Green (13abc Action News) – ProMedica is moving to its new headquarters in downtown Toledo this summer. The health care company is in the process of renovating the steam plant and the former KeyBank building. A lot of work is also being done on park space at the campus. The park will feature some world-class art work.
We spoke with one of the artists who is working on a piece for the site. Erwin Redl is an internationally-known artist who lives in Bowling Green. We spent time at his studio to get a look at the piece he’s creating for ProMedica. It’s an impressive project.
This is what the Tower of Light will look like when it’s done. It’s part of the new ProMedica parking garage along Summit Street. This project is a first for Redl,”I have not done art work for a parking garage before, but I am fascinated by bland, utilitarian structures because they offer an opportunity to adorn them.”
This one will be adorned with about 150 light panels that will be put in behind window glass. The panels are each individually programmed and then illuminated. Randy Oostra is the President and CEO of ProMedica,”This project is a way to take something that may seem mundane and give it some pzazz.”
Redl is an installation artist who works mainly with light, “In 1997 I had an epiphany of sorts after looking at another artists work. That’s when everything changed. My focus really became working with light.”
His work with light can now be seen all over the world Redl creates pieces for private collectors and museums, as well as large-scale public art installations, “I do projects on the east coast, the west coast. I am working on one for Tampa right now. I also have projects in Shanghai, Turkey and Vienna. It really is an international practice.”
Planning for the Tower of Light started more than a year ago. Production has been underway for about six months. Redl says it’s an around-the-clock job getting to the finish line, “My first technician comes in at 5 in the morning and my last technician leaves around ten at night. The computer controlled router runs 24 hours a day to meet the deadline. Just for this project? Yes, just for this project.”
These are some of the light panels that are part of the project.
They are going through the testing phase right now. That takes about two weeks to finish.Once the testing is done, the panels are taken directly at the site to be installed.
Oostra says the hope is that once this piece is in , it will create a synergy with other lighting projects, including the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway and the future lighting of the Anthony Wayne Bridge, “Ultimately if we can light up and have all the bridges and have the waterfront and what we have in Promenade Park, we thought it was a nice tie-in.”
Having his work a part of the place he now calls home means a lot to Redl, “Toledo has a great art scene. Visual, music, opera theater, so for me it’s a real honor to do something in my community absolutely!”
The Tower of Light is expected to be finished veterans glass city early next month.