New $340,000 public artwork installed at police headquarters | News, Sports, Jobs


picture by: Kim Callahan

The ‘Through Other Eyes’ art installation is pictured near Lawrence Police Headquarters, 5100 Overland Drive, on Tuesday. The work was funded by the city’s longstanding Percent for Art program.

Story updated at 9:29 p.m. Wednesday:

A $340,000 art installation for the city’s police headquarters was recently installed.

The artwork, “Through Other Eyes,” was funded by the city’s longtime Percent for Art program. The program allows municipal leaders to set aside up to 2% of a capital project’s budget for public art. The funding was approved as part of the project budget for the $19.9 million police headquarters, 5100 Overland Drive.

The piece consists of a metal pavilion with colored glass panels representing eyes and light projections. The light sculpture at the center of the pavilion, the upward sphere of the design, includes cut-out patterns that project images onto the ground.

The artist, Joe O’Connell, previously told the Lawrence City Commission that the eyes were meant to communicate the idea of ​​seeing someone else’s point of view. The city selected O’Connell, of Tucson, Arizona, from more than 40 performers following a nationwide call for qualifications.

The Lawrence City Commission approved funding for the police headquarters, including the allocation for public art, in the summer of 2017 as part of the city’s 2018 budget process. The design concept for the project was approved by the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission in July 2021 and by the City of Lawrence Commission in September 2021. Although public comment meetings regarding the design concept prior to these votes n were not well followed, both groups subsequently received negative reviews. feedback on the design once it was submitted to them for review, particularly on the use of the eyes.

Following concerns an arts curator heard about a potential negative message, some minor changes were made to the appearance of the eyes, so they appeared empathetic and looked people up instead than down. The city commission ultimately voted 4 to 1, with Lisa Larsen opposed, to approve the concept. Larsen, who wanted the design back to the arts commission for more public comment, said at the time that she understood the intent was for the eyes to show empathy, but for her, the eyes sounded like surveillance or the idea that the police were watching, and she didn’t think that sent a good signal. Commissioners noted some positive aspects of the project, including the fact that it provided some lighting for the area at night.

City spokesman Porter Arneill said the artist team was in town last week to install the piece. The site is just southwest of the police headquarters at the start of the trail that leads to the park north of the building.

picture by: Kim Callahan

The ‘Through Other Eyes’ art installation is pictured near Lawrence Police Headquarters, 5100 Overland Drive, on Tuesday. The work was funded by the city’s longstanding Percent for Art program.

picture by: Kim Callahan

The ‘Through Other Eyes’ art installation is pictured near Lawrence Police Headquarters, 5100 Overland Drive, on Tuesday. The work was funded by the city’s longstanding Percent for Art program.

picture by: Kim Callahan

The ‘Through Other Eyes’ art installation is pictured near Lawrence Police Headquarters, 5100 Overland Drive, on Tuesday. The work was funded by the city’s longstanding Percent for Art program.

picture by: Rochelle Valverde

The ‘Through Other Eyes’ art installation is pictured Wednesday, June 29, 2022, near Lawrence Police Headquarters, 5100 Overland Drive. The light sculpture in the center of the pavilion includes cut-out patterns that project images onto the ground.

picture by: Rochelle Valverde

The ‘Through Other Eyes’ art installation is pictured Wednesday, June 29, 2022, near Lawrence Police Headquarters, 5100 Overland Drive. The light sculpture in the center of the pavilion includes cut-out patterns that project images onto the ground.

picture by: Rochelle Valverde/Journal-World

The ‘Through Other Eyes’ art installation is pictured Wednesday, June 29, 2022, near Lawrence Police Headquarters, 5100 Overland Drive. The light sculpture in the center of the pavilion includes cut-out patterns that project images onto the ground.

picture by: Rochelle Valverde/Journal-World

The ‘Through Other Eyes’ art installation is pictured Wednesday, June 29, 2022, near Lawrence Police Headquarters, 5100 Overland Drive. The light sculpture in the center of the pavilion includes cut-out patterns that project images onto the ground.

picture by: Rochelle Valverde

The ‘Through Other Eyes’ art installation is pictured Wednesday, June 29, 2022, near Lawrence Police Headquarters, 5100 Overland Drive. The light sculpture in the center of the pavilion includes cut-out patterns that project images onto the ground.