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In collaboration with Odessa Arts, First Basin Credit Union recently presented a new public art sculpture making its home at their headquarters in Odessa.

The formal dedication ceremony for the “Hadley Cell” art sculpture, designed and created by North Carolina artists Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii, will be on display publicly and was lit for the first time on Nov. 18.

The commissioned work which was awarded in 2019 was selected from more than 100 artist submissions across the U.S.

The Hadley Cell sculpture consists of a 35’ vertical-column containing five graceful polyhedrons, or cells, extending 8’ at their widest point. The symbol of five stacked cells emulates a column of wind known as The Hadley Cell named after George Hadley. The Hadley Cell is a global scale tropical atmospheric circulation that features air rising near the equator, flowing poleward at a height of 10 to 15 kilometers above the earth’s surface, descending in the subtropics, and then returning equatorward near the surface. Hadley cells exist on either side of the equator. Each cell encircles the globe latitudinally and acts to transport energy from the equator to about the 30th latitude. At the latitudes of the tropics (30° – 35°) the once heated air cools and subsequently descends. Research revealed that Odessa, Texas is located at 31.8457° N and 102.3676° W in the area otherwise known as the horse latitudes.

The column transitions from green that imitates the shrubbery at ground level to blue meant to match the Odessa sky, it is noticeably see through the columns more ephemeral planer surfaces, embodying the sensation of wind. Observers can hear a relaxing hum of the wind gracefully moving through the stainless-steel wire panels purposefully used to give a transparent quality to the work. The transparent mesh exists to further enhance the calming presence of the always moving West Texas wind.

Hirschfield and Ishii have worked as a team for three decades, and as a team they have created a number of major public works of art.

Hirschfield teaches sculpture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was Department Chair of the Art Department for seven years. He has received a number of major grants and fellowships from both public and private foundations, including awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Graham Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Art Matters, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He has also exhibited nationally. Jim has had a long interest and history in public art, and had served as a member of the Public Art Network Advisory Council for six years. He also as authored or co-authored five public art master plans.

Sonya Ishii is as an artist who after studying art and then architecture, began working as an artist on one of the very early collaborative team transit projects in Seattle Washington. She too has received a number of awards, including two North Carolina Artist Fellowships. Together Jim and Sonya have created a variety of public art projects ranging from freestanding sculpture to sculptural environments. Together they have completed over 50 Public Art Commissions across the US and Canada that stretch from Seattle Washington to Fort Lauderdale Florida, and from Orono, Maine to Phoenix, Arizona, including five separate projects in the great state of Texas.

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