WATER IS LIFE! is now on Permanent Display

Interactive Sculpture by Cecilia Schiller

Water is Life at Maplewood Mall.

A big super THANKS! to all involved in making Water is Life a reality:

My co-conspirator, artist and engineer, Willis Bowman

Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District: Cliff Aichinger and Sage Passi

Forecast Public Art: Jack Becker and Melinda Childs

Maplewood Mall: Jennifer Lewis,director, Steve Swanson, director of operations

Jay Cork, musician extraordinaire, for the 10-second ditty

Discount Steel for steel, aluminum and the awesome laser-cut branches and other parts

Nor-Ell Incorporated for the anodized blue branches

Youngblood Lumber for the Douglas Fir that became the trunk slats

Woodcraft for supplies and moral support

Hack Factory for the use of their MIG welder

Leonardo’s Basement where magic happens

Clara and Royce Schiller for welding beyond the call of duty

Dave Hart for technical advice and brainstorming

Kim Lapakko and Ollie Johnson for helping to raise ‘er up!

Meagan-Moffitt Finnegan, MCAD intern for invaluable help in cutting curved wood slats

Jim Sannerud, studio-mate, for patience and support

Christine Baeumler, for suggesting the site in the first place

Cecilia Schiller, together with Willis Bowman, created Water is Life, an interactive, water driven, sculpture in the form of a tree that is meant to encourage the community to share in the responsibility of protecting water and keeping it clean.  The sculpture is activated by rainwater from the roof that drains into a turbine, rotates the branches and plays a melody on chimes inside the trunk.  Viewers can also make the sculpture move by turning a wheel on a crank box adjacent to it.  Schiller’s idea for the sculpture was developed over the course of a year by interacting with staff from the Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District, volunteers and community members and exploring sites and waterways within the watershed.  Ultimately she chose the location at Maplewood Mall for its unique challenge to use rainwater in creative ways and the opportunity to reach a large and diverse audience while promoting ideas of innovative water stewardship and its benefits in a fun, inviting way. (See the process on the In Progress page.)

The creation of Water is Life was made possible by a grant from Forecast Public Art in 2013 with additional funds from the Jerome Foundation and funds from the Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District.


See Cecilia on MN Original

Automata by Cecilia Schiller

Birdhouse at Landmark Center

Cecilia Schiller was featured on TPT’s program MN Original in early January 2013, a show that showcases Minnesota artists and their work.

The program was recorded in May in her studio and at the Landmark Center while Cecilia was finishing up work on her interactive sculpture Birdhouse.

Cecilia’s story and the full episode is posted on www.mnoriginal.org.

Visitors to the site will find additional content, web exclusive videos and links to MN Original artists.