Blessing Hancock

<em>Brilliance,</em> Palo Alto Library and Art Center, Palo Alto, California. Blessing Hancock and Joe O'Connell

Brilliance, Palo Alto Library and Art Center, Palo Alto, California. Blessing Hancock and Joe O’Connell

Blessing believes there is enormous potential for public art that is skillfully integrated with the built environment. As an artist, her goal is to find new ways we may live with art — ways in which art relates to its setting, enriches the human experience and creates an atmosphere of participation, curiosity, and connection to community.

She begins her design process with extensive research and analysis of the characteristics that make each site unique. She says, “I investigate local conditions such as natural systems, cultural touchstones, social history, adjacent communities, and the surrounding architecture and landscape. I observe and discover what is missing in the current condition, and what potential for engagement and celebration could be unlocked by the right art.” Each sculpture becomes a unique reflection of its site and also a powerful landmark on its own.

Brilliance detail

Brilliance detail

Blessing is drawn to public art as a tool for innovation and new experience. She has designed and installed artwork at art centers, public parks, universities, libraries, hospitals, transit stations, parking garages, and underpasses. “This is my creative passion,” she asserts, and “I bring a keen excitement and fresh perspective to every project.”

Using a palette of steel, acrylic and colored light allows her to create unique effects. Her acrylic pieces play on the contrast between a weightless translucent form during the day and a colorful glowing object at night. The steel pieces use perforation and projection to transform the surrounding space into an illuminated landscape.

Light is the connective thread that runs through Blessing’s work, and she believes in its emotive power and ability to enliven a space. Her work often uses LED lights and touch-sensitive electronics, enabling people to change the work’s color and luminosity and influence its aesthetics.

<em>Chinook Arc,</em> Beltline Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Blessing Hancock and Joe O'Connell

Chinook Arc, Beltline Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Blessing Hancock and Joe O’Connell

Her company Skyrim Studio in Tucson, Arizona, focuses on public art and works with architects, design teams and community groups. In nearly all of her public art projects, she has coordinated with city agencies, architects, engineers, and consultants to incorporate artwork into new or existing infrastructure. Her studio creates detailed design drawings and produces architectural and mechanical drawing sets for most projects. They have a long track record of working successfully with design professionals and Blessing finds collaborations with community residents, writers and other artists inspiring and rewarding.

<em>Affinities,</em> North Hennepin County Community College, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Blessing Hancock

Affinities, North Hennepin County Community College, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Blessing Hancock

Blessing_3a

Blessing Hancock

Photo of Ned Kahn

Ned Kahn

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Tristan Al-Haddad