The Pendleton Spinnradl
A multi-sensory, interactive sculpture installation
The Pendleton Spinnradl Project reflects the culmination of extensive community engagement, historical research and artistic collaboration. More than two years in the making, the completed installation expresses a deep relationship and relevance to the Pendleton neighborhood. This is by design. From the project’s inception, creative place making has been the focus.
Working with the City of Cincinnati, ArtWorks created a design review committee composed of community leaders and stakeholders. Working together, they led a nation-wide call for artists that sought proposals specifically based on community involvement. After carefully reviewing dozens of submissions, the committee awarded the commission to Wowhaus, a Northern California-based design team. In Summer 2012, Scott Constable and Ene Osteraas-Constable of Wowhaus began a series of community engagement events designed to bring the people of Pendleton together to discuss their values, interests and experiences. Events included photo safaris around the neighborhood, sessions led by a professional storyteller, block parties, and more. After hours of listening to the Pendleton residents and researching the extensive history of the neighborhood, Scott and Ene chose a creative direction based on the following:
Artwork reflects themes, values & imagery identified via 4 Community Engagements:
Colorful and kinetic; establishes a unique visual identity for the neighborhood
Complements the historic architecture of Pendleton
Engages pedestrians & encourages visitors to explore Pendleton & learn about the community
Draws people into the neighborhood – striking and engaging when seen at a distance & up close
Reflects themes of Diversity, Unity & Safety
The outcome of this process is the creation of two kinetic sculptures which evoke the rich past and present of the Pendleton neighborhood. Community members contributed stories and imagery that inspired the artwork,which reflects the neighborhood’s unique legacy of architecture, social activism, cultural diversity, artistry and industry. The North Star features prominently; Pendleton was a key stop on the Underground Railroad. The custom-made music boxes play two different songs—one is a traditional German folk song, performed in combination with a dance that forms a star pattern. The second song is a ragtime piece which was composed in Cincinnati in the very early 1900s. The music box was designed and built by Reuge, a 150-year-old music box company based in Switerzerland. The Verdin Company in Cincinnati fabricated the case and base of the of Spinnradl, in addition to supporting the assembly of the various moving parts and decorative elements.
The custom tiles, designed a Wowhaus and fabricated by The Rookwood Pottery Company in Cincinnati, feature recurrent symbols and motfis within the neighborhood.
We would like to express our sincere thanks to the many artisans, partners and funders who worked together to make this project a beautiful success:
Special Thanks to the people of Pendleton and the Pendleton Neighborhood Council