923 Ellsworth Dr
Silver Spring, MD 20910
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Artist: Craig Kraft
Material: Neon and Rolled Aluminum
Commissioned by Montgomery County 2003
Lightweb uses an architectural structure to create a large-scale light work, configuring rolled aluminum and neon tubing around an exterior elevator tower. Curved strokes of blue, green, and red neon light are beamed around the tower, giving a sense of fluid three-dimensionality. According to Kraft, the sculptural effect was a challenge to fabricate; "three-dimensional neon-lit sculpture on this scale is hard to find because of the difficulty in constructing a three-dimensional structure capable of securely holding fragile glass neon tubes." Kraft developed the design before the building itself was constructed. Using architectural drawings and models, he achieved the integration of "three-dimensional line and volumes of light with an open rectilinear structure."
The illuminated works of Cork Marcheschi, Stephen Antonakos, Dan Flavin, and Keith Sonnier influenced Kraft's design, but the real impetus came from the unique structural challenge and the desire to integrate art and architecture. The synthesis may be viewed as symbolic of a rejuvenated community center. Kraft explains "The plaza now has a sculptural mark, more than just marking a location. The image suggests importance, integration, vitality, and energy-a place where the community can come together and recognize each other.”