Upon first glance, Chromadaynamics, a mural at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics, looks like an abstract sunset, shifting from reds, oranges, and yellows to hues of blue and purple. Reminiscent of the Color Field painting style popular in the 1940s and 1950s, Chromadynamics is an interactive color display that seems to shift in color as light changes and the viewer passes by. Take a step closer and you’ll see that the entire piece is constructed of colored pencils.
Artist Robert Dickes is the chief designer behind Chromadynamics. A photography professor at the University of Kentucky, Dickes was inspired by the pencil’s extensive history throughout the evolution of business. Used for everything from accounting to signing contracts, the pencil has played a critical role and seemed to Dickes to be the perfect medium for an artwork adorning the walls of a business school.
To create his 10’x34’ three-dimensional mural, Dickes used 50,000 School Smart® colored pencils. The artwork, assembled on-site, consists solely of colored pencils attached through pegboard with a foam core backing. About 20 people executed the art piece, taking on a variety of roles including pencil sorters, pencil tip painters, base installers and pencil installers. The construction of Chromadynamics took three months, from the delivery of the colored pencils to the last pencil inserted into the backing.
Positioned in a high-traffic area, more than 2000 people will see Chromadynamics on an average daily basis. Gatton College plans to keep the installation for the next two to three years, at which point Dickes plans to order 100,000 more School Smart® colored pencil to shift the design into new iterations.
Congratulations to SSI Inside Sales Representative Jason Gollner for managing the sale of 50,000 School Smart colored pencils to the University of Kentucky for this dynamic art installation.