Public Art > Spectrum of Knowledge

Chicago Public Library
Richard M. Daley Branch
laser-cut plexiglass panels
(in collaboration with Adelheid Mers)

One translucent, colored acrylic sheet is suspended horizontally in each of the library’s 14 overhead light fixtures. Silhouetted words, shapes, and pictograms playfully refer to broadly selected categories from the Library of Congress Classification system that the Chicago Public Library uses.

The colors selected represent the spectrum of visible light: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.  Warm colors begin at the building’s entrance and transition to cool colors on its northern side.

The result is a floating sea of overhead images that imaginatively yet unobtrusively contribute to the library’s environment while referencing the organization of its content.