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LaddersConstruction: Brass, glass and wood
Artist: Leslie Bruning
Location: Benson Branch
Installed: 1999

This sculpture "Ladders", for the Benson Branch Library not only addresses the formal relationship of the sculpture to the architecture, but it also addresses the dynamic nature of the library of today and of the future.
The concept of this suspended sculpture visualizes the changing nature of media in today's libraries. The spilling shelves represent the change from book-only transferal of old libraries, now becomes a symbol of the evolving means of access.

A ladder also symbolizes a reaching or striving for something higher. The colored panels, through which light will pass, represent the information and profound ideas produced by human intelligence. The curving, evolving ladder forms represent the same ideas, but show that the methods of storing and communicating information has changed to includes videos, CDs, and computer access systems. The new technology allows the transfer of knowledge through space and time instantaneously. The series of ladder-like forms, with translucent colored glass panels, computer icons and hardware, visually depict this concept. Spotlights and natural light from the high windows illuminate these forms as they gracefully float in space like messages or information emerging from the Internet.

This concept, constructed, in wood, brass and glass, integrates with the physical building as well as the library user's search for the information and enlightenment.

"Ladders," should continue to be a source of intrigue and inquiry for library patrons through the years.
The Omaha Public Library Board, OPL administration and the Omaha Public Art Commission selected "Ladders," to fulfill the promise that 1% of Benson's reconstruction costs be devoted to public art.

(Leslie Bruning, February 1999; transcribed by L. Sullivan, September 2005)


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