TRIANGULA CUBOIDEA – Art & Architecture

I’m not sure what to call this exploration of form. Is it architecture? Is it sculpture? Perhaps it straddles both realms. I’ve been using the form of the cuboid (blocks) to build more complex Euclidean structures like pyramids and octahedrons. This structure diverges into architecture with gabled cantilevers. Built up with blocks I like to think of as pixels in 3d, eight intersecting triangular sections cantilever out from their starting points, the midpoint of the structure, four on top and four reversed on the bottom. The void left over at its center expresses absence and the ephemeral as the structure appears to be dissolving. The blocks edges are vestigial traces composed of wood bars held together with steel connectors and bolts whose tracery is analogous to a wireframe view of a 3d model.

This is a departure from sculptures in steel, traditionally used in outdoor sculpture, with its construction in sustainably forested wood with steel being the connective tissue holding it together which speaks to sustainability to combat the climate crisis and a connection to nature.

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HELPING HASHTAGS – Proposal for Cleveland Public Art Pavilion

Scroll down to read HELPING HASHTAGS Statement

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HELPING HASHTAGS is an architectural pavilion that merges art, social media and social issues into an iconic transformative place of hope and optimism for the future of a better Cleveland for all of its citizens. As an art object unto itself, the hash symbol with its use in hash-tagging represents our modern times, where data is turned into meta-data; where information is categorized and made searchable; where so many find their voices amongst the billions of souls vying to be seen and heard to share joys, beauty, injustices, sadness…and so much more, elevating our humanity. People can engage with it on multiple levels, many personal as social media is weaved into our lives just as the wood members weave together to form this symbol in the zeitgeist. But it also presents questions. How is social media impacting the issues of our times? Institutions, advocacy groups, non-profits and individuals use social media to help answer and address these issues by bringing awareness to their mission, raise funds and showcase the work they do.

A series of interlaced mass-timber glulam members forming hash signs on its 4 sides and on the top, sit on 4 concrete plinths with spaces between them to allow people to walk into the structure. The concrete plinths are bench height so people can sit on them. For HELPING HASHTAGS structure, I choose to use the material mass-timber to bring attention to sustainability in going forward in the building our city and infrastructure. Large public art sculptures have traditionally been dominated by being fabricated in steel. Using mass-timber is a departure, emphasizing an environmental component that speaks to sustainability to combat climate change. Mass-timber is being used as structural systems to support modern buildings, including in our city, in response to the ever growing need to build sustainably and for buildings to achieve LEED certification.

The morphology of the design of HELPING HASHTAGS starts with the Euclidean platonic solid the Rhombohedron. Because a rhombohedron’s six faces are rhombuses, they are not square and when placed with one side horizontal, the vertical sides lean at an angle. I used this platonic solid because a distinguishing and dynamic characteristic of the hash sign is that its vertical bars are slanted. The members of the structure are inscribed within this geometric solid giving it its dynamic lean of 7 degrees. If you can picture in your mind the lines of the perimeter edges extended to meet each other, you may visualize this rhombohedron.

The openings between the concrete plinths occur between the mass-timber vertical bars of the hash signs inviting visitors to enter the pavilion. Once inside, on these mass-timber members are aluminum plaques that have etched into them, hashtags that relate to a host of issues that society and our city face; environmental sustainability, food insecurity, violence prevention, matters of diversity, equity and inclusion, black maternal-fetal health, food deserts, redlined communities, disability and physical and mental health and more. These hashtags will not be determined by me but by the citizens of Cleveland. An initiative will be brought to the public to request hashtags that relate to these issues and the issues they face personally that they would like to have etched into the marker. For example, a pregnant mother might apply to the request with #HealthyBaby. An environmentally minded citizen might request #SustainableFuture. An African American citizen in a food desert with diabetes might request #InvestInNutrition and placed next to another person’s #EradicateDiabetes. A LGBTQ individual might request #LoveIsLove. There will be space for approximately 400 of these hashtags. These hashtags will be of a certain size. But in addition to these hashtags, highlighted on larger plaques in noticeably larger font, will be those of institutions/non-profits that advocate to address the hashtags penned by Cleveland residents. These institutions will be asked what hashtag represents them. There will be space for approximately 40 of these. HELPING HASTAGS will be a place to bring awareness to these often unsung entities and to bring to the forefront the forces that bring us together in the theater of social media against those darker forces using social media to divide us.

HELPING HASHTAGS will become a fixture of the neighborhood and its iconic presence will become known citywide inviting visitors to enter and experience it. It will sit on a plaza, inviting large groups to assemble next to it. It will be a backdrop to cultural events; dance, music and theater. A covered electrical outlet will be placed in the floor inside the pavilion and outlets placed on each side outside the pavilion for projectors to be connected. Projection mapping is a projection technique used to turn objects into display surfaces for video projection. Artists working in this medium will be invited to create immersive experiences on the interior and exterior of the pavilion.

HELPING HASHTAGS is about advocacy, hope, determination and good will. The City of Cleveland is a great city and like all cities, it has ills that persist. HELPING HASHTAGS is a beacon to action; to fix; to heal; to unite.

TANGENTS – Exhibition of Abstract and Geometric Art in NE Ohio at The Artists Archives of The Western Reserve in Cleveland Ohio

I’m proud to be in this exhibition of abstract and geometric art with a group of nine terrific artists (including myself) in NE Ohio; Gianna Commito, David Louis Cintron, Mark Howard, Mark Keffer, Catherine Lentini, Natalie Lanese, Ed Raffel, and Susan Squires

From the Artists Archives website:

Tangents: Abstract and geometric Art in Northeast Ohio continues on in this tradition by gathering together a collection of diverse and prolific NEO artists who are choosing to work in a nonrepresentational way. While their various works include forays into: Color, optical interplay, mathematics, space, surface, texture, process, and the built environment, all explore their individual pursuits in geometry and abstraction.

Curator Jennifer Omaitz writes,” The idea for this exhibition grew out of a call to action. In the wake of the COVID 19 Pandemic most regional artworks appeared to explore literal pictorial space in painting and sculpture. Questions circulated about who in the area is making design dominant, non-representational work? Why is making abstract work still important? And how can the process of being an abstract artist lead to greater manifestations of perception? This exhibition aims to excite a deeper interest in geometric art and abstraction in the area and inspire more artists to open up their studio practice… The process of making abstract art occupies a rare space. It combines ways of thinking and making that interact with the temporal; sometimes abstraction is minimal and simplified, sometimes optical, and sometimes part of a collaged or combined language. It slows down or abandons the use of literal shapes and forms, often including ad hoc arrangement and disparate elements to engage the viewer in a space where philosophical questions prevail. The work has the power to share the pictorial space of color and surface with sensuality, metaphor, and resonance.” 


I have two artworks in the exhibition; QUADRABAR I and PYRALUX IV. These pieces represent a new direction in my work, connecting my roots as an architect with my digital media practice by utilizing 3d modeling to create geometric abstraction. I call this process 3D Derivatives. The idea of an artist being derivative often has a negative connotation, as being imitative of another artist. But I’m using this word in a different context; that of something that is derived from a source, in this case the source being a 3d model. A 3d model can be viewed in many ways, orthographically and in perspective, from the top, bottom and sides, from different angles, rotated… etc. and a 3D model can be rendered with realistic shadows. These characteristics draw me into this process enabling me to expand on my geometric abstraction in ways not possible in 2D. Using the program Blender, I first create a 3d model, add color and study different camera views and lighting to cast shadows that emphasize the forms. I then export renderings to be printed on rigid substrates and cut them out on a router allowing the geometry to reveal its edges.

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QUADRABAR I, 2023
uv inkjet on acrylic/composite aluminum cut out on cnc router
dimensions variable – 47.5″h x 45.5″w overall, edition of 3

QUADRABAR I is a visualization in perspective looking directly overhead of a structure of a grid of cubes intersected by bars. They shift up in down, undulating in a wave like formation assembling an implied geographic terrain. Infused with 14 colors plus black and white, it comes alive as an optical tapestry in a symphony of color.


PYRALUX IV, 2023
uv inkjet on acrylic/composite aluminum cut out on cnc router
dimensions variable – 47.5″ x 47.5″ overall, edition of 3

PYRALUX IV is a visualization in perspective looking directly overhead of a structure of 2 back to back square pyramids of stepped blocks color coded with primary colors plus white forming the platonic solid, the Octahedron. The stepped blocks along the edges of the octahedron are recessed, splitting the octahedron into 8 parts of which only 4 parts are visible in this view. The Octahedron’s vertices are color coded in black. A series of smaller blocks nest on the larger blocks increasing in size as they cascade down from the vertices.


The exhibition runs from November 2 – December 16, 2023. Hope you can visit and see not only my work but the wonderful work of the other artists.

Click here to read more about the exhibition on the Artists Archive website.

Curator Jenniffer Omaitz will give a curators talk at the AAWR on December 2 at 1:00pm.

Artists Archives of the Western Reserve
1834 E. 123rd Street Cleveland, OH 44106
216-721-9020

I was awarded the Ohio Arts Council’s Artists With Disabilities Access Program (ADAP) Grant for fiscal year 2024.