In 2018, Krasl Art Center introduced its newly designed campus. Known as the Sculpting Community project, KAC undertook transforming its site from a well manicured outdoor gallery to an inclusive green space grounded in the arts. Creating a place for people and art to mingle, engage and interact outdoors was at the forefront of this dynamic reimaging of our outdoor space.
Sculpting Community was a multi-year project supported by a lead gift from 1st Source Bank.
Designed specifically for KAC’s new campus, Rising Crossing Tides reflects the powerful wind and waves we experience off the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan. Artist Richard Hunt worked closely with the site architects and KAC staff to ensure the monumental steel sculpture created a welcoming gateway to the grounds, framed the space appropriately and invited guests to sit on it, walk under and explore.
In 2009, Richard Hunt received the Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center. A preeminent American sculptor with over 130 public artworks located throughout the nation, Hunt grew up in Chicago where he lives and works today.
Perhaps less known is the fact that since 1995, Richard Hunt has housed a satellite studio in Benton Harbor, Michigan. The Richard Hunt Studio Center was an inaugural component of a community program that fostered the arts and culture to drive economic development. Hunt’s early participation reflects his ongoing concerns and belief in community building through the arts. Hunt’s studio is located in what today is known as the Arts District of Benton Harbor.
KAC worked with designers to create the stunning custom bench that wraps around the oval lawn and provides seating for guests to enjoy performances and programs, to watch others play in the grass below, or enjoy the glowing pink skies of sunsets over Lake Michigan.
Glass panels run along the sides of the bench and are embedded with gorgeous color variations lit from within. KAC was inspired by one of Olga Krasl’s striking palettes in the design of the panels. It was Olga’s ardent belief in the value of the arts, her joy of artmaking and her love for this community that led to the founding of Krasl Art Center. This architectural detail is a playful nod to her continued legacy.
The East Garden is an intimate outdoor space that inspires a sense of play, wonder, and reflection through interactive contemporary art installations. New projects are installed often, transforming and invigorating the space anew with fresh artistic vision.
The East Garden is dedicated to the late Maria G. “Lupe” Hopp. Her commitment to the community, education and the arts are reflected in the spirit of the space and it is with great thanks that we honor her here.
You may be wondering what KAC looked like before the Sculpting Community project. Take a look and see how we have transformed over the years, including the original design, the 1990 update, and the 2018 grounds redesign.