Our Towns

YSU Art Prof’s Sculpture Lights Up Downtown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A Youngstown State University art professor worked with a team of regional artists and designers to create a sculpture that is lighting up the night in downtown Youngstown.

Titled “Solar Screen” and constructed of 3D-printed ceramic bricks and solar panels, the sculpture has been permanently installed on a lawn outside The Vindicator newspaper offices on Vindicator Square.

Missy McCormick, an associate professor of Art at YSU, fashioned the piece with collaborators Brian Peters and Daphne Peters, both faculty members at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Solar Screen is one of five community art projects funded by a grant awarded YSU by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Mahoning Valley is recognized as a national leader in the field of additive manufacturing, McCormick said, and that’s what motivated the team to propose a project incorporating 3-D printed materials. The bricks were printed, fired and glazed in YSU’s Department of Art Ceramics facility, then assembled on site by professional masons from Youngstown Tile & Terrazzo Co.

Solar Screen is positioned to follow the path of the sun so that its solar panels absorb the sun’s energy by day and will illuminate the sculpture at dusk.

“Just as the technology driving growth and innovation in the region is always changing, Solar Screen is designed to be dynamic, changing over the course of each day,” she said. “It will be a beacon in Youngstown, through both the lighting and the fabrication process, reflecting the technology that is propelling the city into national prominence once again.”

YSU was awarded a $100,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant last year to finance community arts projects in or near downtown Youngstown. Solar Panel was the first project completed of five proposals chosen for funding. Others include a bus shelter made from a shipping container and a shadow art project by seventh-grade students at Valley Christian School.

SOURCE: YSU News Center

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.