The core values of a new public art installation in Eau Claire include collaboration, sustainable and local materials, craftsmanship, fun but stimulating design, problem solving and – perhaps most importantly of all. all – teamwork.
And that’s precisely what Tim Brudnicki and Joe Maurer of Timber Space Eau Claire brought to their public artwork “Sanctuary,” which was installed this week on the UW-Eau Claire campus. It is located across from the new Flesch Family Welcome Center at 127 Roosevelt Ave.
Nicknamed the “Street Beetle” or “Blugold Beetle”, this public art enterprise required a team of local artists, creatives and DIY enthusiasts, including Brudnicki and Maurer, who work together under the name Timber Space Eau Claire, which reuses wood from the Chippewa Valley to create bespoke furniture for businesses in the area.
The Street Beetle is formed from salvaged urban ash trees – including trees cut down in the name of construction or because of the emerald ash borer infecting native ash trees. The exterior is tinted a brilliant golden hue and is about the size of a vehicle – so you really can’t miss it! Inscribed inside the beetle (or pod – whichever you prefer!) Is a memorial poem, courtesy of local author Nickolas Butler.
With the help of UW-Eau Claire (especially Kimera Way), Greg Johnson of Artisan Forge Studios and many other local designers, this public art installation provides a gathering place for up to five students and community members who have faced isolation in the past year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Check out the photos of the installation project here: