Quincy Owens + Luke Crawley

Fissure at Athenaeum

Project Description:

“There is no envy, jealousy, or hatred between the different colors of the rainbow. And no fear either. Because each one exists to make the others’ love more beautiful.” -Aberjhani
The quote will appear in vinyl lettering on the interior white panels. Programmed lights illuminate the quote as well as translucent acrylic panels on the exterior. The color changing effects on the exterior are similar to our previous Prime Commonality works.


Conceptual Approach

This design explores immigration, an issue with direct ties to the spirit and community of the Athenaeum Foundation. Das Deutsche Haus was originally created as a social and community center for German immigrants in Indianapolis—a place to feel safe, welcome, and celebrated. Such a place continues to be necessary today for all immigrants, and especially refugees.
Education is one path toward finding community and/or personal improvement in what can be an unfamiliar and challenging new home. At its heart, The Public Collection aims to provide opportunities for education through increased access to books. While at first sight our design may seem closed off, it is important to note that it is also intentionally open and accessible. One need only spend a small amount of energy in exploration to find the entrance, which is at times a metaphor for access to knowledge.
Das Deutsche Haus changed its name to the Athenaeum in 1918 due to anti-German sentiment after World War I. Similar judgements and stereotypes are placed on certain immigrant populations today. This concept seeks to draw attention to this complex issue while celebrating the historical context of German immigrants in the Indianapolis community.


Aesthetic Approach

Our design draws inspiration from the unique limestone banding on the Athenaeum building, an eye-catching feature providing architectural identity. We have chosen to imitate this banding pattern within our concept all the way to ground level. There is a cage-like element to the work, which in some ways can be the experience of many immigrants. However, we have chosen to turn the cage on its side, and it is intentionally open to allow someone to easily walk out of the cage as well as enter it  to access knowledge.

Coincidentally, all of the original limestone work was done by an immigrant, Alexander Sangernebo from Estonia.

Fissure, 2019 

Aluminum, acrylic, LED components, vinyl

7 x 10 x 8 feet

About the Artists

Quincy Owens

Quincy is a husband and father of five children who loves to open his studio door every day to make something out of nothing. He graduated from the University of Indianapolis, lives in Greenwood, and has a studio at the Harrison Center for the Arts where he works as a full time artist.

Luke Crawley

Luke is a science and mathematics teacher at University High School in Carmel, Indiana. He is a husband and father of two boys who constantly model the joy found in authentic scientific exploration and artistic creation, which Luke tries to capture in his scientific and artistic endeavors.




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