- Craig Kraft's 'Vivace' was installed in front of the new Shaw library on Saturday. (Photo: TBD Staff)
Kraft, who's lived and worked just down the street from the library for decades, spent most of the day Saturday installing the piece at the entrance to the new library branch at 7th and Rhode Island NW. The job involved the help of professional art movers, a crane, plus a number of electricians, and took about eight hours to complete.
The sculpture itself, which Kraft has titled "Vivace," was co-commissioned several years ago by a conglomeration of city agencies, and was actually originally designed to go along with one of the earlier versions of the once-stalled replacement library. The library that was eventually built, conceived by architecture firm Davis Brody Bond Aedas, had literally no influence on Kraft's piece, since he started working on it long before the building plans had been drawn. Still, Kraft says he's happy with the end result.
"It's a nice contrast," Kraft says. "It is a focal point out there and it does draw people in."
When it first commissioned the piece, the city asked artists to interpret Shaw's history in terms of its relationship to jazz, which Kraft says was an easy place for him to start.
"I've always listened to a lot of jazz, and I've been in here in Shaw for 20 years," he says. "Good jazz has an improvisational quality, but it also has an underlying structure. So in this piece, the ribbons kind of gather in the center, but then they kind of move unpredictably from there."
The neon sculpture will be illuminated only at night, starting at about 8 p.m. until 5 a.m.