NANCY O'NEIL         


Public Art
Glass Blocks

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On The Move
York County Community College, Wells, ME

Copyright © 2002 Nancy Gutkin O'Neil
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York County Community College, Wells, ME
Percent for Art project

York County Community College is located in Wells, a coastal town in southern Maine. The school offers academic and career training programs to close to 1000 full and part-time students, and also offers non-credit courses to the greater community. These six windows are in the Clock Tower. The three lower windows are each 56"x40"x 1/2", and the three upper windows are each 42"x40"x 1/2".

When I visited YCCC in early 2001, one of the strongest impressions that I came away with was that this is a place where people are on the move. Everyone I spoke with had a goal or destination. One young woman said "I can see my future at the end of the hallway and I'm running towards it." YCCC is an exciting, positive place. I felt a lot of energy and momentum, and that is what I tried to capture in my stained glass windows.

Interestingly, while doing my research, I came upon a picture of the first graduating class at the Wells High School. Their class motto was "VESTIGIA NULLA RETROSUM" -- no footsteps backward. This seemed to be my developing theme for the project.

The title of my piece is "On the Move".

Each of the lower windows has a tilted quatre-foil or cruciform shape, with arcs radiating out from it, almost bouncing off of it. At the center of this form is a corrupted photo of a figure in motion (corrupted meaning "dreamlike"). Two of the panels also contain keys, as a reference to all that the future holds. The colors are a combination of intense and pure, contrasted with a crumbly, muted effect. Overlaying all of this color are painted and fired plants or animals from the York County area.

Surrounding this section is a black and white border filled with photos and illustrations, mostly of people at work. The border also contains YCCC motifs done by their own graphics students, and photos of people in motion by Eadweard Muybridge.

The upper windows have a more formal composition, with five diamonds against the arcing forms, and a border. The diamonds contain assorted illustrations relating to York County.

Project photos by Jon Bonjour