Cecilia Schiller

Sculpture · Woodcarving · Automata

Water is Life

Water is Life is on permanent display.

Crank 'er up outside the Northwest entrance of Maplewood Mall

The Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District and Forecast Public Art with additional funds from the Jerome Foundation funded the creation and installation of an interactive public art piece designed by Cecilia Schiller and Willis Bowman.  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.

The creative process is chronicled below: