Update Announced For Sky Sculpture At Union Station

Update Announced For Sky Sculpture At Union Station

Kansas City's tremendous interest in and significant turnout to experience Union Station's temporary outdoor art installation -- Reflecting Motion -- has been nothing short of amazing. An estimated 100,000 guests, between May 18th and July 9th, turned out in person to witness its breathtaking beauty and celebrate this one-of-a-kind sky sculpture floating above the Station's massive green space. Hundreds of thousands more enjoyed its spectacle via extended and extensive news coverage, special documentaries and social media sharing.

Unfortunately, as was widely covered across local news outlets, Reflecting Motion was impacted by the severe storm and winds that rapidly moved through downtown Wednesday morning. While the sky sculpture performed as it was engineered to do under extreme winds -- by detaching from its hanging grid rather than damaging any part of the Station's historic structures -- the level of effort and expense required to repair and rehang the exhibit could not be justified when balanced with the limited time remaining in the original schedule.

The process to remove the remaining temporary support grid started Sunday and was completed yesterday, July 16th.

"Most importantly, we'd like to thank all of Kansas City for making this unique and visually stunning art installation such an unprecedented success," George Guastello, Union Station president and CEO, said. "As a community of sponsors, partners, members and guests, we shared something truly amazing that will not soon be forgotten. Reflecting Motion attracted and transfixed visitors from every corner of our community and from across the country as well. It was magical and the memories it created were beyond measure. We're disappointed to have the last weeks of the installation cut short but are thrilled that so many experienced it in person. We also extend our thanks to Patrick Shearn and his Poetic Kinetics team for their brilliant creation and continued collaboration, attentiveness and support of our decision."

Immediately after Wednesday's severe weather event, a thorough evaluation of all options was conducted which included Station officials, installation engineers and the artist's core team.

"After careful review of all options and considering the short number of weeks remaining for the installation, the financial requirements to repair the artwork and reinstall it were simply not justified," Jerry Baber, Union Station executive vice president and COO, said. "Union Station invests significantly and proactively every year to maintain our massive and historic campus and structures. Additionally, we invest heavily in our world-class permanent attractions, as well as touring exhibitions, seasonal events and community celebrations. In this instance, we're choosing to celebrate the tremendous success of Reflecting Motion, but not divert unplanned dollars to remount it. Union Station is a community treasure and we are honored to be its caretakers to ensure its vibrancy for the next 100 years and beyond."

Artist, Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics was quick to praise Union Station and Kansas City for the warm embrace of his creation.

"Reflecting Motion has been one of my favorite installations," Shearn, said. "The art itself was so dynamic and dramatic in the way it moved and the way the curves contrasted the formal lines of the surrounding architecture. What was equally gratifying was the amazing reception and reaction from the team at Union Station, Quixotic and the people of Kansas City. I loved seeing the images and videos uploaded to social media. It really felt like I was there. As you can imagine, it breaks my heart to have to take it down, but I understand the realities and reasoning. I look forward to an ongoing relationship with Kansas City through public art."

Station officials also expressed their appreciation to the entire sponsor and partner team that made Reflecting Motion a reality.

"As with most things on this grand of a scale, Reflecting Motion required a community of Union Station supporters," Guastello, said. "In addition to the artist and his stellar team, CommunityAmerica Credit Union stepped up in a significant way to bring this unique art experience to Kansas City. They deserve our deepest appreciation. The wildly creative minds of Quixotic also brought their magic to bear, especially for our Opening Celebration. As well, we owe a debt of gratitude to KCPT for producing a fabulous documentary entitled, 'Art in the Air'. And finally, we want to acknowledge Kansas City Art Institute, IN Kansas City Magazine, Stand Structural Engineering and a host of others for their support."

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