Margo Sawyer’s record of integrating color and monumentality into public art made her an excellent choice to create a work to honor the New Department of Art and Art History Building on the Sam Houston State University Campus. Color is central actor in Sawyer’s public art, arranging complex unions of color in reflective luminosity, reflecting her multi-cultural background. The resulting optical play givens the viewer an intuitive experience: color as a window to our multicultural world. Sawyer designed the landscape and immersive architectural glass spiral as one. Synchronicity of Color for Sam Houston University forms a cathedral of color inspired by the rhythm of patterns and structures reminding one of both Kente cloth weaving and our universal DNA sequence. The artwork magically appears from the plaza, the substructure invisible to the eye, as if you are walking into a stained-glass window curtain. The result is a joyous, inspirational reverie experience of space.
Margo Sawyer’s Synchronicity of Color for Kosovo was a project commissioned by Art in Embassies. Sawyer was chosen for this project because of her record of integrating color and monumentality into public art. It was important that a work be celebratory for this new moment in the history of the young country of Kosovo. Through an initial site visit, gained a brief understanding of the vernacular architecture of Kosovo and was drawn specifically to The National Library of Kosovo, which became a muse for the entire project. While concurrently making a project with Franz Mayer of Munich, Sawyer decided that the work should be made out of glass. Franz Mayer were the perfect collaborators. Their knowledge of architectural glass construction was crucial to the realization of this project. The artwork magically appears from the plaza, the substructure invisible to the eye, as if you are walking into a stained glass window curtain. It is an immersive architectural glass spiral that was inspired by the rhythm of patterns and structures within the National Library of Kosovo in Pristina created by architect Andrija MutnjakoviÄ. Sitting in the middle of the embassy courtyard, the spiral plays with color and light, and stands 9′ tall with a diameter of roughly 15′ wide.
Synchronicity Chapel is designed to be a meditative space that allows you to feel alone with your thoughts, but also interacts and gives new perspectives to the world around you. It is set in a 100 year old chapel on private land in the middle of the countryside. Investigating the relationship between space and transcendence where architecture and ritual converge in creating unique and memorable experiences with the capability of restoring a quality of contemplation within our lives is what forms the core values of Sawyer’s artistic practice. To that end, she wanted this space to be a tranquil place of solitude just as much as it was a gathering space, and wanted areas to feel as sacred as an ethereal space should and work with the idea of a place of worship rather than against it.
There are 8 pre-existing windows with glass coverings, a 14’ tall by 1’ wide alter window, and a 4’ tall by 1’ wide choir window, both of which Margo Sawyer designed. The glass was hand painted with the flat glass studio of Franz Mayer of Munich in Germany.
This work was commissioned by the University of Houston System, for the University of Houston Victoria Campus. The goal of the piece was to create a work that would liven the blank white atrium and create a place to gather. The seven works are composed in two layers of glass - each glass sheet is hand painted by airbrush, fired and then hand painted and fired. Thus each sheet of glass is painted and fired two times. The two layers of glass were then, tempered and laminated together with the hand painted layers facing each other. Each Element: 6ft High x 11’ wide x 1” thick.