Artist Byron Folwell Lights Up Idaho Ice World

Posted by Andrew Crisp on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 3:17 PM

Artist Byron Folwell admires his work, Razor Sharp and Fast, at Idaho Ice World.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Artist Byron Folwell admires his work, "Razor Sharp and Fast," at Idaho Ice World.

After Boise's Byron Folwell was commissioned to create a public art installation for Idaho Ice World, he set out to capture the fluid movements of ice skaters.

"I spent some time on the ice and noticed how people move. I wanted to capture how people move on the ice, how people cross paths and call attention to points of intersection with these colorful nodes," said Folwell, gesturing toward his large piece, "Razor Sharp and Fast."

A year ago, Folwell was selected by the Boise City Department of Arts and History to craft the original work, formed of aluminum bent into sweeping arches, glass and more than 8,000 LED lights.

Folwells piece lights up in random patterns, programmed to take advantage of 256 unique colors.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Folwell's piece lights up in random patterns, programmed to take advantage of 256 unique colors.

A public dedication took place on Nov. 13, which included a ceremonial "lighting" of the installation.

Folwell said he chose to work the molecular structure of ice—a hexagon—into the colorful central node. His brother, Jeff Flitton, was tasked with writing a program to teach the myriad LEDs to flicker in formation, creating the effect of swooping colors beams meeting in central intersection points.

Folwell's proposal was selected by a panel set up by the city to add color to the facility, which is operated by Boise Parks and Recreation. "Razor Sharp and Fast" can be viewed from anywhere on the facility's ice rink, or from (the safety of) nearby bleachers.

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