Interconnections by Stephen T. Johnson
Stephen T. Johnson is a Caldecott Honor children’s book author/illustrator who lives and works in Lawrence, KS. He has exhibited his artwork both regionally and nationally. He has created works of art for Love Field Airport in Dallas, TX and subway stations in Brooklyn, NY and Los Angeles, CA.
Interconnections is a set of three mosaics, each 23-1/2 feet tall x 5-1/2 feet wide. This work is installed and on public display at the new Lenexa City Center Library.
Words from the Artist
"We rearrange the notes of a scale to generate musical compositions, we mix the colors of a rainbow to create visual works of art, and we reorder the letters of an alphabet to form words and texts.
As with a triplet of stained glass windows or three lines of a Haiku, Interconnections is a triptych that celebrates the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet through a profusion of typographic fonts, both uppercase and lowercase, intermixed with images from my books — Alphabet City, Alphabet School, and A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet.
Reading from left to right, the first panel celebrates the letters A to I, the second panel J to Q, and the third panel R to Z. The goal of Interconnections is to inspire visitors to the library to view our world in a fresh and playful way, and in so doing, discover for themselves juxtapositions of scale, color harmonies, rhythms in surface textures, and joy in what may seem unremarkable or ordinary, by transcending the mundane and unearthing its hidden beauty."
Artist Stephen T. Johnson worked with the German company Franz Mayer of Munich to fabricate these works. This company works with artists from all over the world to interpret their designs from the original medium into architectural glass and mosaics. Johnson created digital designs for these artworks and emailed them to the fabricators. The company used Johnson’s designs as guides for how to arrange the many individual glass pieces used to compose the mosaic.
In this mosaic there are 4 different kinds of tesserae:
• Flat marbles/glass gems – small round glass pieces that have an entirely smooth surface
• Glass cake – large flat pieces of mosaic glass that can be cut or broken into regular or irregular shapes, used to make both kinds of smaller pieces listed below
• Italian Smalti – small, regularly-sized, machine cut and broken mosaic glass pieces that has an identical surface quality on all facets
• Mexican glass – small, irregularly-sized hand-cut and broken mosaic glass pieces that can have different surface qualities and colors on different facets
This work of art is part of the Johnson County, KS Public Art Collection. Learn more at jocogov/dept/facilities/public-art-commission.